Friday, January 21, 2011

5 Reasons Why Your DIY PR Sucks

Hardwork © Jatinder Kalsi

Last week's post on "The Case for Do-It-Yourself PR" highlighted some reasons why a small business or company would want to handle their public relations efforts on their ownToday's post is not meant to discredit my stance on DIY PR. In most cases, it is absolutely necessary; especially when funds come into play.

5 reasons why your DIY PR may suck:
  1. You Don't Know Jack. I know Jack, because I subscribe to a media contact database. Creating your media list is an art. You have to know the publications you are interested in and then reach out to them in the appropriate manner. Do you know the media that you are trying to contact? Can you find their email or phone number? Most of the time the contact information is available, but it may take some digging to locate it.
  2. Spam attack is your motto. If you are constantly blasting out emails to media contacts that aren't interested in your service or product you are SPAMMING. Most PR professionals know that this isn't the way to get noticed by the media... at least not in a good way. Keep tabs on how many emails you are sending and be sure to follow-up.
  3. Time is money. You manager your restaurant, you sell your products to customers, handle payroll, deal with disgruntled employees...phew, I'm tired already. You do not have time to manage a public relations campaign or even get 8 hours of sleep. Time is money and you are spending it elsewhere.
  4. The early bird gets the worm. It's the same in public relations. You need to plan ahead. Public relations professionals also use editorial calendars to try and place stories for their clients (Wikipedia). Editorial calendars are often available at the beginning of the year, which allows for yearly planning of pitches. If you do not have a PR plan, then you plan to fail at your PR.
  5. You write novels instead of press releases. I get it. You want the reporter to have all of the details about your product and service, so you jam all of the words on your website or product sheet into the press release. WRONG! Journalists do not have time to read your manifesto. Shorten that press release to two pages, preferably one and proofread it 3x before you press send.
Again, I am not here to discredit any success stories or case studies from folks that have succeeded with the DIY PR products and tips that are being offered today. Public relations is hard work if you do not have the know-how, relationships or writing abilities to succeed. I caution you to look beyond the cost of hiring a PR professional. Think about the time and money that you can save by working with us. PR folks are here to help you, not hurt you.

Regine J. Nelson is the founder and principal of Allure Marketing + Communications. Allure specializes in consumer product, small business, nonprofit and startup PR. Email for a free consultation. Follow me on twitter, @RegineNelson.

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