Woman in Panic Looking At A Computer MonitorPR is becoming more and more a necessity and less a marketing luxury. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that public relations is not for them or that social media and online marketing are now enough to promote them and their company, or that it’s fine to do a media outreach for one month and then stop.

The first assumption is generally wrong. Unless you work for the CIA and want to keep your identity under wraps, it is almost assured that you can benefit from a comprehensive PR campaign.

The second assumption is also off base. With all of the noise on social media and online, it is more important than ever to separate yourself from the competition. The most effective way to do so is by being featured in magazines, newspapers, TV and on radio. You are now the news. Now you can effectively utilize social media, what you will be sharing and posting won’t be simply your thoughts or ideas, or a sales pitch, but links to news stories on you and your company. You now are separating yourself from the competition and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Only media relations offers you the validation and credibility of being in the news.

And the third assumption is also way off the mark. Starting a campaign only to stop it in one month is like stopping a plane just as it’s about to take off.

So, with that in mind, below are the 4 deadly PR sins many business owners and entrepreneurs make. They are made every day, but are simple to avoid.

1 You put off launching a public relations campaign or believe you don’t need one. I covered that in my opening paragraph, but that is the biggest mistake people make. They have no idea how much they are hurting themselves and their business

2 You mistake being featured in one article or TV segment with an actual PR campaign. An effective media relations campaign is simply that, a campaign. It is a strategic, cumulative process. One media placement does not a PR campaign make, so to speak. If you are lucky enough to land some media coverage that is the precise time to utilize that coverage and launch a campaign. Media begets media, but only if you’re savvy enough to work it. If you simply sit and wait for one media placement to change your life, chances are you’re going to be doing a lot of waiting.

3 You figure you can bring an intern on board and have him or her launch a PR campaign for you. Or you can designate one of your employees who has some Facebook experience as your in-house PR consultant. You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In the long run, this type of approach can do you more harm than good. If you send the media inappropriate information, or approach them in the wrong way, you could be alienating them for quite a while. PR is a science and an art. Would you hire an intern and have him or her do a surgical procedure on you in order to save money? If so, let me know, because that would be a news story. You simply cannot afford to relegate your PR outreach to an amateur in the field.

4 You’re fine talking to your clients and are sure you don’t need media training. Right? Wrong. Doing effective media interviews is an art. Everyone can benefit from media training.

5 You only discuss your talking points with the media and refuse to address any other issues. Now there is a mistake. Your job is to make the bulls-eye larger, not smaller

6 You hire a PR company and then ignore their advice. Hiring a PR professional is like hiring a healthcare professional, if you disregard the advice you’re given, chances are things are not going to turn out well.

7 You don’t communicate with your PR representatives. Calls and emails go unanswered. Media opportunities fall by the wayside and you then can’t figure out why your campaign isn’t moving forward. Work with your firm and they in turn will work with and for you.

Now you know the deadly PR sins to avoid. So, launch a professional, strategic media campaign for you and your business and, as I’ve often said –

Don’t read the news be the news!

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