6 Mistakes That Make Public Relations Professionals Look Dumb

April 11, 2013

By: Ali
We all make mistakes. Some are minor, some are more extreme, and others just make us look really stupid. When those mistakes happen in a professional context, the consequences can be long lasting.
Here are six mistakes that make public relations professionals look like they have no idea what they're doing:

  1. Making grammatical and spelling errors: Those in the public relations field will happily tell you just how much of our day is spent writing. (Hint: a lot). Make sure that your writing is flawless.
  2. Not knowing your industry: There are few things more uncomfortable than having a client or boss mention a newsworthy event in the field...and you're clueless. Scan the headlines of news outlets that cover your industry each day to avoid this problem.
  3. Losing an opportunity because you missed a deadline: A lack of organization results in things slipping through the cracks. When those things are opportunities you could have capitalized on, it doesn't look so great.
  4. Being late to your own meeting: This can be an in-person meeting, or perhaps a conference call or briefing, but if you set it up, make sure you are the first one there.
  5. Not understanding your own story: There will be plenty of times you find yourself working in unfamiliar fields. No one expects you to be a data scientist just because you work with them, but you need to make it part of your job to at least somewhat understand theirs.
  6. Failing to reply: When you write to journalists and editors and assistants all day long, it can get discouraging to not see many replies. When you do get a reply, make it a priority to respond as quickly as possible. Make yourself stand out as the one who followed-up, rather than blending in among all the others that didn't.

This is just a sample of the mistakes PR pros might make. While it is by no means an all-inclusive list, it highlights some of the more embarrassing situations that need to be avoided. Keep these under control, and you'll be off to a good start in developing a promising PR future.
What are some of the PR mistakes you've made, and how did you ensure they wouldn't happen again?

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