The 10 PR Mistakes Most Businesses Make (Part 3)

Posted on: June 12th, 2013 by Wendy Alpine

Wendy Alpine of Alpine Communications ( completes her series on the 10 PR Mistakes Most Businesses Make.My last two blogs (Parts 1 and 2) discussed six mistakes businesses make when working with PR professionals. These include the disconnect when the client doesn’t understand what PR is, the confusion when the scope of the work is not laid out, the need for proper training, good communication, and staying in for the long haul, and the importance of a good match. Part 3 outlines the last four mistakes.

7.  Clients don’t leverage the media publicity after the placement appears.

Getting a media placement is the icing on the cake — it’s a result of building relationships with the reporter, understanding the client’s industry, marketplace trends and sometimes overall timing. Once the placement is secured, clients need to leverage it by posting it on their website, pulling quotes from the story to use for testimonials, blogging about what was said and getting reprints for sales materials. Media placements build credibility for a business’s products and services.

I’ve seen many businesses stop short once the placement is secured instead of coming up with additional promotional ideas to leverage the publicity. Often what you do after the publicity is more important than the publicity itself.

8.  Clients don’t realize reporters need stories, not product placements.

Journalists want to learn about what makes a business tick and what obstacles they’ve had to overcome to get where they are today. Sure, they cover basic product stuff, too, but they love telling stories. Stories are the heart and soul of PR. As a business, ask yourself:

– What are you doing that’s unique?

– Did you come up with an innovative approach?

– Can you contribute to a trend?

– Are you bettering the community or the environment in some way?

Businesses need to be flexible on story angles, so that PR professionals can come up with three to four pitch angles to increase the odds of success.

9.  Clients are disappointed with the media coverage.

An interview with a reporter may last an hour, but a client has little control as to what the reporter will pull out of the interview to include in his/her story. PR professionals can use media training and coaching to increase the odds that the reporter will include the facts the client wants publicized. Sometimes clients, especially new businesses, don’t realize the importance of this. Rehearsing messages and developing a Q&A for internal use can help increase the chances of positive publicity.

10. Clients need to drop everything if the media calls.

This may be inconvenient, but the media wait for no one. To be a “media darling,” a client must make himself available at any time. Those who do will reap the best benefits and placements.

The goal of public relations is to portray a business in the best possible light. This can range from establishing the business in the market to damage control. Unlike advertising, the goal is not to pay for space in the media but to persuade the media to take an interest in the business and to write or report on the business’s activities.

Paying attention to these 10 mistakes outlined in these three blogs will go a long way to maximizing a client’s PR campaign and achieving their PR goals.
Wendy Alpine of

Wendy Alpine
Phone: 404-641-6170
Fax: 404-806-5316

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“Wendy has been a fantastic addition to the Health IT Leadership Summit marketing committee. Via her media and public relations expertise, she has helped raise the profile of the event, which in turn helped us achieve record attendance. I look forward to further collaboration with Wendy.
Jennifer DennardDigital DivaHIStalk

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