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VOL. 38 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 5, 2014

10 useless PR tactics to avoid in 2015

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The explosion of the Internet and the ensuing 24/7 news cycle, combined with a significant reduction in reporting staff at most media outlets over the past decade, has created a perfect storm driving a significant shift in public relations tactics that are effective and worth your time.

If you are still deploying any of these tactics, make it your 2015 resolution to better invest your time for a better result.

1. Stop creating PR campaigns with the primary goal of going viral

You simply can’t control the viral nature of a campaign, as the stars must be perfectly aligned and many of those stars are far outside of your control.

Sure, it is gratifying when you see your work picking up viral steam, but avoid setting out with that in mind or you may lose sight of what matters most – the delivery of valuable, relevant content to your target market.

2. Don’t mass email a generic pitch to a laundry list of reporters

Do your homework on each reporter. Read his or her past material, social media posts and bio.

Get to know each reporter’s audience.

Then customize each pitch, and only pitch reporters you believe are likely to be genuinely interested in your content based on your research.

3. Avoid over-the-top self-promotion

If you aren’t focused on matching interesting, relevant, timely content with the right audience, reporters will see through your request and your credibility may be lost.

4. Don’t be the little boy who cried wolf

Distributing a press release every time your company has made the slightest change when you have no real news to announce will encourage reporters to stop paying attention.

5. Don’t forget to use your actual voice – meaning the spoken word

PR doesn’t begin and end with the press release. Cultivate relationships – through social media and in person where possible.

6. Stop making mere announcements

Start engaging in storytelling.

7. Don’t pester reporters when you know they are on deadline

Get to know when those regular deadlines occur.

8. Don’t focus on the big media outlets only

Including niche outlets not only helps with your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts, but considering how fragmented media consumption has become, it is necessary.

Niche publication coverage can also assist you in piquing interest among large-outlet reporters.

9. Don’t assume you are the only one with a busy schedule

If you want to be considered a trusted, reliable source, respond promptly to reporter requests even if that means rescheduling on your end where possible.

10. Don’t miss the opportunity to advertise any media coverage generated through social media, blogs and email campaigns.

Use news stories as social proof on your website.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and CEO/Founder of RedRover, a sales training and marketing firm based in Memphis, redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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