Giving and receiving advice is a common want among us all. If you tell someone you work in PR, they can’t wait to tell you their secret tactic for PR success. Fellow pros were asked about the worst PR advice they’ve ever received. Here’s what they said:
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
Many organizations have taken this to heart, but that viewpoint makes some PR pros crazy. Perhaps there once truth behind it—before the advent of the internet.
Today, a brand’s missteps are easily collected through a Google search. Bad customer experiences live forever on ratings and review sites. Even deleted social media posts can live on if they are captured in screen shots and published online.
“Send at least one press release per month.”
Press releases are not a strategic objective; they’re busy work. You must have legitimate news for anyone to care about your release. Your latest revision to your product or rebranding of a model does not merit a press release.
There are so many other things you can do to amplify your product launch. Post releases on your blog, create a related series of contributed content, or collaborate with influencers on a virtual launch event. Don’t send out a release and expect to see it get picked up if it offers no substantive value.
“To increase sales, send a press release.”
PR isn’t an immediate boost to your company’s bottom line. It’s not direct marketing, and you shouldn’t measure it by a goal of immediate sales.
If you are asked to send a release to boost your company’s sales, push back. Explain that if they are looking for a direct sales tactic, you can help them with a drip email campaign, but putting out a release isn’t going to accomplish that goal.
Similarly, a press release isn’t going to bolster your stock price. It is your job, as a communications professional, to push back when you are given unrealistic goals for your PR tactics.
“Just say ‘no comment’”
It can be tempting to dodge a complex media request or a question about a looming crisis, but a response of “no comment” could do lasting damage.
By taking the time to talk with reporters and help them understand a complex industry issue, you can build a relationship that has an ongoing benefit and help improve the accuracy of the reporting on your industry.