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5 PR Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

StrategeryStrategy: it’s the one thing we always try to sell our clients and, arguably, the thing we most often fail to deliver.

No worries, though; it’s understandable. We’ve all had clients call in a panic while we’re neck deep in creating a strategy that would make Alexander the Great scratch his head.

As longtime residents of Tactic Town, we’ve all heard this one:

“Do this, now! We are in a bind and need some help.”

Now it’s sweet that clients call with their hair on fire, imploring us to take the lead. But tactics don’t always pay the bills unless you have a desired goal.

So, here’s another listicle for every flack to enjoy: the 5 PR Strategy Mistakes to Avoid.

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The 5 Worst PR Stereotypes

what we do

Hell, we can’t even agree what we do.

Okay, raise your hand if during a Thanksgiving dinner, this has happened…

You grow weary, like near clutching the dusty bottle of formerly nice alcohol to what has to be paint thinner now, because you made the mistake of trying to explain what you do for a living. The questions are overbearing, nonsensical, and borderline WTF. Even your own mother can’t figure it out. So, you dig in fighting the good fight, and say the following words we have all said out of frustration:

“I get people on TV.”

Oooooooooooooooooooooooh! The room nods in agreement and you rush for the bathroom, if anything, just for some well-deserved “me time.” And that’s why these ridiculous stereotypes exist.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Speaking in Public

publicspeak

You sweating yet?

In most PR agencies, flacks have one fear coursing through their bodies that forces them to consider wetting their pants just to relieve some stress — public speaking. You would think in this industry those are fears you leave at the door or reconsider your career choice, but there it is.

The public relations pros that have this issue — glossophobia, to those diagnosed and on medication — love pitching because they can hide behind a phone, or even better, an anonymous IP address and email. However, if those same folks are on the pitch team, they freak.

So, if you are among those whose knees are knocking, palms are sweating, and throats are cracking reading this post, don’t fret. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when caught in front of a crowd of possible clients.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

5 Quick Tips for Your Next Crisis Communications Plan

CrisisAhead

It’s going to happen, so where’s your umbrella?

Crisis — It only exists because you aren’t prepared.

That’s the difference between one of those and a tragedy. There is absolutely nothing you can do about nature going bananas, colossal malfunctions or the dregs of society out on parade. Those things will inevitably happen when you least expect it. However, your ability to be prepared for the inevitable — or inability thereof — is what makes it a crisis.

I was thinking about a crisis communications plan watching any news report about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. While the entire world is watching what seems to be a real-life episode of the “X-Files” happening, the loss of life is tragically becoming a secondary story. When they are found, the crisis plan kicks in. Will they be ready? Would you?

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Biggest Stories of the Week

Biggest Stories of the Week

5 Tips for Better Internal Communications

can can

Remember when we used to talk? 

Public relations is supposed to the art and the science of communications. If that were so, we would understand that term more holistically. We communicate in many ways to many people; yet, a forgotten aspect of this thing we call “our life’s work” is internal communications. 

How well are we helping our clients if we aren’t teaching that team to speak to one another, share the brand, discuss improvements, learn to drink the same Kool-Aid? We aren’t and I’m surprised more clients don’t call us out on that. If the client has a stronger team internally because of the work we are doing externally, said client will be reminded of our greatness more often.

Now that I have your attention, here are 5 tips to enhance better internal communications. You’re welcome.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

5 Secrets Every PR Pro Should Know About Reporters

old reporter guy

For starters, they don’t all look like this because technicolor is a thing.

In the fabled world of public relations, it amazes — well, really, disheartens — me how few flacks take time to get to know reporters. Forget the national ones who are on everyone’s bucket list. I’m talking the general assignment reporter in their own backyard.

These are the people that can make or break your effectiveness as a PR professional and not once is there an attempt to humanize these folks. I should know. As I have shared a few times in this blog, I’m a proud hack-turned-flack. I have good friends in the media, and I suppose that is why I can understand the jitters when pitching a reporter who answers the phone (intentionally) like a brash horse’s patoot, “NEWS!”

For that, I offer this list for you: 5 secrets every PR pro should know about reporters. Enjoy and share with your team.

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