5 PR Commandments Every Startup Should Live By

Observe these basic and fundamental rules to avoid common PR sins.

  1. Write nauseating, lengthy email pitches that could rival a trilogy.

    In today’s short attention span theater, where 140 characters is acceptable banter, most members of the press are refreshed by pitches that succinctly get to the point. As Derek Halpern, the creator of Social Triggers suggests, “bridge the information gap.”

    Lifehacker.com writer Craig Jarrow, author of Time Management Ninja, further explains, “One of the top reasons your email isn’t getting read is because it is too long… As people are fighting to get their inbox to empty, the last thing they want to do is read a multi-page rambling email.” Instead, keep it short, focus on one compelling point, include relevant links and inquire if there’s interest.

  2. Pitch media outlets without understanding their audience.

    Don’t ruin your first impression. Always target media outreach efforts. For example, if you own a career site and send a pitch to a business magazine with a readership of small business owners, don’t send pitches on “How to Land the Perfect Job.” It’s considered irrelevant and if you persist, you may be deemed irrelevant as well.

    Instead, take time to familiarize yourself with a particular outlet and target your pitch to their specific needs. “Dear Madam, Sir or To Whom it May Concern” appears lazy, rarely works and almost always receives a click — delete, delete, delete.

  3. Use social media inappropriately to contact members of the press.

    Social media is a great tool to develop rapport with media professionals — when used correctly. For example, it’s not a good idea to tweet media professionals and ask, “Will you write a story on ABC Widgets?” or “Checkout our new album!” (Especially when the journalist doesn’t write for an entertainment magazine).

    Instead seek to build a long-term relationship by following them on various social networks, sharing their content and positioning yourself as an authoritative, trusted and newsworthy brand ambassador.

Do you need access to great public relations advice? If so, visit PRDaily for more newsworthy PR tips.



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