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The Unwritten PR Rules, Part 2: Promotional “Don’ts” :

The Unwritten PR Rules, Part 2: Promotional “Don’ts”

What is it that irritates reporters? The list below is at least a good place to start.

Avoid blanket emails. Sending releases to six reporters at the same outlet and at the same time in the hopes of coverage by each can be a disaster. In the worst possible case, each reporter will develop a story, the stories will be printed on the same day in different sections of the paper and you will never again appear on the pages of that publication.

Don’t socialize excessively. Journalism is a business and while there are times when it’s appropriate to socialize with reporters, such moments are limited. Certainly promoters should not call reporters to talk about the weather or gossip as a way to induce media coverage.

Don’t relate advertising to editorial coverage. The purchase of advertising is a marketing decision that should be made on the ability of a publication or station to reach a particular audience at a given cost. Conversely, advertising alone should not be a bar to editorial coverage.

Be aware that some media outlets do relate advertising to what they call editorial coverage, however it’s clear that the most desirable publications and programs do not. The value of editorial coverage is based on credibility and there isn’t much that’s credible when ties with advertisers are obvious and overt.

If you’re going to contact reporters associated with respected media outlets, forget about advertising. Don’t mention it. At best, the subject places an unhealthy pall over any contacts you may develop and most likely your conversation will end abruptly.

Forget about mass emails.. Technology allows us to broadcast a single e-mail to thousands of recipients with the push of a button. You can buy such lists cheaply. Using such technology with reporters just about guarantees widespread annoyance if not worse.

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