14 Things Public Relations Clients Should Know

Take a deep breath, know you’re not alone.

How to make the front page news instantly

1. PR is a process. You know who hits it big overnight with a story on the “Today” show? Criminals, naughty celebrities, and shark-attack victims. Do you want to be one of them?

2. Want NY Times to cover your story or business? Have your PR person consistently publish news about you, or start blogging consistently. Eventually someone will notice you. But remember this takes time, most likely months or even years. Aim for the independent writers and bloggers first.

3. No, we don’t know every journalist everywhere across the universe—not that it matters. Even journalists who we are friends with will turn down our pitches occasionally.

4. Few things actually warrant a press release …

5. … And a creative PR professional can still brainstorm ways to achieve your goals without one.

6. Stop insisting we call the media. Most of them hate this and specifically request we contact them exclusively via email.

7. PR is not free advertising. PR is not free (or cheap), period.

8. What matters most to you may be totally irrelevant to a journalist. Remember that it’s what they—not you—think is important that matters in the end.

9. Social media is more than Facebook and Twitter.

10. If you insist on running all tweets and posts past your legal department, don’t expect results from your social media strategy.

11. If a journalist says he or she is not interested in a story, they mean it. If they want your story, they will get back to you. Calling to check in, will further annoy the reporter and guarantee you’ll be ignored the next time.

12. Don’t measure your PR results in ad equivalency rates.

13. An ethical PR pro is not a spin doctor. Do not ask us to spin the truth or evade the press.

14. We love you. You’re one of our favorite clients. And we work tirelessly on your behalf.

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