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How NOT to do PR

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How NOT to do PR

There are a few simple rules to live by when trying to manage the public relations or PR for your company. Here's how not to do PR...

Remember the journalist does not have to run your story or give you their time.

You cannot simply make a deal. It does not work that way. That is what advertising is for.

If a journalist thinks your story is newsworthy then you have a chance at getting published or appearing on TV. Do not stalk them on LinkedIn and leave them multiple voice messages if they do not reply to your email.

Email is usually the preferred method of contact as reporters often have multiple deadlines and can receive hundreds of pitches every day.

How not to do PR - Getting it wrong can turn into a negative story on its own. 


Research the publication, radio program or television show you want to contact. If you pitch a story about an increase in cyber scams on businesses to a consumer-focused title they will not be interested - this is how not to do PR.

This can affect your reputation for the next time you want to reach out.

Read the site and look for similar subjects to the story you think you can pitch. Does it feature images, video, or tech tips?

This will help you figure out what the reporter will need to write or film the story and this should all be included in your email.

Find out the email address for the journalist you wish to contact and send it to them directly. Doing otherwise is how not to do PR.


Use the information you have learnt by reviewing the publication or tv show and write a short email outlining the main points of your pitch.

Do not send a long-winded essay with vague ideas of why you think your company is brilliant as nobody has time to read it.

Include any filming or photography opportunities as well as spokespeople or third-party talent such as a customer contact.

DO NOT LIE - How not to do PR

Journalist’s ask questions for a living. If you do not tell the truth, they can usually tell. If you lie, the story could easily turn into why did a company spokesperson lie about their product?

Be transparent about what the story is, answer any questions honestly and do not take any rejection personally.

If the journalist decides your pitch is not right for their publication, ask them what they might be interested in or what they would need to make it more relevant for their audience.

Related: What is PR and why does your organisation need it?
Related: 5 do’s and don’ts when marketing your business
Related: How NOT to do marketing strategy: 3 Tips

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