Seven Most Amateur Mistakes Made in Public Relations

Are your public relations skills not as accurate as you would like? Listed are seven common mistakes made in the PR world.

Reading these should help you limit your inaccuracy and start developing a more professional approach. These are also known as the “Seven deadly sins,” according to Dorothy Crenshaw of the PR Daily.

1. Overpromising.

Most of the time it’s easy to predict the return on an investment but sometimes it can be tough. These cannot be predicted with 100 percent accuracy. Discuss the expectations and this can be avoided.

2. Missing deadlines.

A deadline is one of the most important things in public relations. By not meeting one, you are setting yourself up for expulsion from the business. Next time your proposal is emailed too late, I would take it to heart.

3. Spamming.

This is an extreme case of being unprofessional. Giving a personal approach will always wok better. Most people who receive this don’t even look at it; moreover, your message will become irrelevant.

4. The on-and-off approach.

Public relations are most efficient when used as a long-term branding tool. Not to be confused with sales promotions and direct marketing. There are some corporations who see public relations like a television set they can turn on-and-off as business conditions dictate. This is a major error.

5. Using (or abusing) ad clout.

The majority of public relations pros have a story about a client who insists on trying to influence an ad buy to produce editorial coverage, or who threaten to pull a schedule if a story isn’t as positive as they would like. Sometimes this works, but it could potentially cost you your relationship with the media.

6. Thinking PR = press release.

A paid SEO enhanced news stream is not equivalent to a public relations program. Buyers are selling themselves short.

7. Confusing language

This topic isn’t limited to amateurs. Writing and speaking in simple, powerful words is much more efficient then using large confusing vocabulary. This will help make your communication crystal clear.

If you are challenged by management of your public relations plan, give us a call, we can help!


Joseph S. Grano, Jr., has a record of success providing vision and strategic direction to organizations experiencing rapid growth and change. He is one of those rare individuals who have made a successful transition from corporate leader to entrepreneur and owner of his own growing company.