A version of this story originally appeared on PR Daily in October 2011.
A story about the 20 things a PR pro should know how to do
got me thinking about the things PR professionals should not
do—the things that will cause you to lose clients, fail to impress your boss, and generally stagnate in the industry.
Here are those things, broken into four categories:
1. Phone journalists when you know they’re on deadline.
2. Be unprepared for questions when pitching a reporter.
3. Miss a deadline.
4. Spam journalists with the same release, with no consideration of what they actually want.
5. Fail to provide interesting, exciting, and high-resolution images for stories.
6. Delete negative comments on blog post or Facebook pages.
7. Focus on numbers, not engagement.
8. Not bother monitoring conversation.
9. Share nothing but links to offers and your own website.
10. Not familiarize yourself with analysis tools.
11. Fail to set clear targets, expectations, and evaluation methods.
12. Not work out a clear approval process.
13. Do whatever your client asks even if you know it’s a waste of their time and money.
14. Not push for opinions and viewpoints.
15. Ignore situations if they go wrong; mistakes happen—it’s how you deal with them that count.
16. Churn out news releases with no strategy or reason behind them.
17. Get coverage for its own sake.
18. Fail to make sure press, advertising, social media activity, etc. are joined up.
19. Not make the time to read newspapers, blogs, and magazines.
20. Not hold regular planning and brainstorming meetings.
Brooke Nolan is a PR professional in Great Britain. She blogs at PR Tips, where a version of this story first appeared.