The 7 most amateur mistakes in PR

Avoid at all costs.

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Faced with a boneheaded media relations move by a political colleague, Gold lets loose with a wonderfully escalating barrage of outrage. He caps the tirade by spitting out a final, scorn-saturated insult, “The one thing I hate is an amateur.”

In the spirit of Eli Gold, but with a kinder, gentler attitude, I present the worst, most avoidable, most amateurish PR mistakes. Call them the seven deadly sins.

Overpromising. This is a tough one, because publicity results cannot be predicted with 100 accuracy. In the heat of battle, it’s easy for an agency team to escalate the potential return on investment. Sometimes it’s simple expectations creep abetted by a long selling cycle. In the worst cases, it’s the utter failure to discuss expectations. There’s usually hell to pay.

Missing deadlines. The media opportunity missed. A proposal emailed too late. A soft seasonal story idea conceived after most articles are put to bed. This one’s a tactical crime of omission, but still. Deadlines are sacred in the PR game, and blowing one is a crime punishable by expulsion from the biz.

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