7 Deadly Public Relations Sins

By Natasha McGarrell

Ever wonder why you’re not getting a response from a journalist or why you just aren’t getting your client the results they want? You may be committing one of the seven deadly PR sins. Here are seven things you should ABSOLUTELY avoid doing during your PR career.

1. Not setting goals or KPIs


How do you know you’re on the right track if you have no goals? Short answer: you don’t. At the start of your campaign, set KPIs with your client to ensure all parties know the results expected from a campaign.

2. Making promises you can’t keep

Don’t promise a client you can get them on television if there’s no way it’s going to happen. It’s easy to say, “yes we can definitely do that!” when you’re keen on winning an account, but that could end in disappointment for everyone. Managing expectations from the start is key.

3. Believing everything you hear


Of course, your clients may think they’re the best at what they do, but it’s your job to sort the fact from the fluff. You need to determine what exactly makes them so amazing. When copywriting, it’s best to take a page out of our media siblings’ book and put your journalist hat on. Question and fact check EVERYTHING.

4. Pitching boring stories as major news

It’s not a journalist’s job to turn your client’s update into a newsworthy story. Get creative with a dull story and think up some new angles that are worth covering.

5. Sending blanket press releases to all media

One of the biggest pet peeves for media is receiving irrelevant, mass pitches. Show that you’ve done your research and tailor your pitches to each journalist.

6. Stalking

If you don’t get a response from your initial pitch to a journalist, send them a follow up email or give them a buzz, sure. But don’t hound them with hundreds of calls and emails to follow up that same pitch. If they’re interested, they’ll get in touch.

7. Assuming everything will go to plan


It’s best to apply Murphy’s law when planning an event, photoshoot or media interview. Prepare for anything that could go wrong and don’t leave a thing to chance.