12 basic PR mistakes to avoid

It’s easy to mess up a pitch or upset a journalist. Keep this dirty dozen in mind to reduce your chances of committing such blunders.

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The media are a well-educated bunch with good memories. If you don’t want to rub them the wrong way, avoid these 12 common mistakes.

1. Not researching the outlet

It’s important that you pitch the right news story to the right outlet. Media companies have to meet their customers’ needs just like anybody else, so they run only those stories that relate to their audience and to the heart of their publication or broadcast show.

You’ve got to research news outlets and make sure that your story is in line with the character of their content and needs of their audience.

2. Not reaching out to the appropriate contact

Within a media outlet, there are a variety of reporters, hosts, producers, editors, writers, and managers. Each one manages and is passionate about a different topic or “beat.”

Don’t pitch a finance topic to a fashion editor, unless it’s about “how to avoid department store credit card debt” or something else relevant to that person’s specific beat.

3. Not pitching an angle

Journalists are busy people, and when they’re sifting through dozens (and sometimes) hundreds of pitches they need to quickly sort through the piles of emails, faxes, and voicemails to find the gems that are going to break that day.

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