5 Minute Read

PR Mistakes You Can’t Make in 2017

74% of online consumers expect a brand’s web content to be personalized to their interests. With this in mind, it’s vital we take this time of year to align our messaging and PR game to the audience that matters most to our client’s brands. How can you prepare? I have 4 real hardy tactics for you to implement to make sure you don’t make embarrassing mistakes for your clients in 2017.

Don't miss these #PR mistakes you should be avoiding in the New Year: Click To Tweet

1. Make Time for the Little People.

When you ask a new or existing client what publications they’d like to be placed in, you can probably relate to the common eye-ball rolling answers like “TechCrunch, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal.”

Okay, people, I get it, you want me to make you FAMOUS. Which is fine, I get it, being famous would totes be cool. But, we have to make time for the “little people” too. I used to think the big-name pubs were the only ones that mattered.

The truth is, if you’re only pitching your press to the big names all the time, you’re going to be very quickly disappointed thinking you’re the worst at your job. You’re not. Maybe your client is hella impressive, maybe your story is crazy intriguing, but the people who receive 100+ pitches for cool, impressive people every day, can’t cover every one of those stories. Once you get the little people to like you and you gain a good base of consistent coverage, the big guys might start noticing you and feel more impressed themselves!

Learn the art of newsjacking to get those extra impressive news angles!

2. Be Personable. Extremely.

At Red Branch Media we like to dip our toes in automation. Consumers don’t like it as much, but we aren’t octopuses, we need a little help sometimes. As a PR lady, automation is hardly an option at any point in my job. In fact, sending out big emails to big lists has been proven to be the least effective. Research has shown that personalizing an email will increase responses by up to 303%.

Be nice to people. Tell them you liked what they said on Twitter the other day or really enjoyed reading an article on their publication and shared it with your friends. Whatever it is, make it known that you know how to *spell their name and you know what they do and what they’re all about. *I literally just can’t tell you how many times people have sent me “personalized” emails with the intro saying “Hi Ashley” “Hi Shalaina” “How’s it going, Taylor?” Why didn’t anyone tell me my name changed?

Learn more about the difference between good PR and desperate PR.

3. KISS.

Here’s a high school English class reminder. KISS.





Congratulations, people of Earth, we now have attention spans shorter than goldfish. I’ll admit it myself, I zip through my email inbox very quickly in the morning and I’m not any top notch reporter or nuthin’.

70% of journalists spend about a minute or less on every email they open. So if you’re lucky to get them to open the email, you best get to the point and be very clear about what you want from them!

Read more on how to burn out your media contacts.

4. The Email Inbox, Love it.

Writing attention-grabbing subject lines is the utmost of importance. A good subject line could determine the open rate of your email and is the deciding factor whether 79% of journalists will open your email or not. Some quick tips for writing the best subject lines ever:

  • Be personal and include localization if applicable, always.
  • Switch up subject lines, even for email newsletters so people don’t assume it’s the same news, different story.
  • KISS, again.

2017 is YOUR year to ace your press coverage and efforts. Start now by building out your PR strategy to find what tactics and messaging you’ll be playing with.

Want more tips or need to nerd out on PR best practices? I’m lending you an ear! @NoelleBellLynne