Many so-called PR and publicity gurus will tell you that it’s ok to do certain things, even though they are completely wrong. And these myths have continued to perpetuate as the Internet makes our world a smaller place.
There are several myths out there about public relations and publicity. And I think it’s time someone set the record straight. (It might as well be me!)
Here’s the real deal on some of the myths out there:
- I’ve got an email address, twitter ID, etc. of a journalist, which means I can pitch him or her through that venue. No, you can’t. Just because a person has an email address -or any other method of contact, for that matter – doesn’t mean they want unsolicited pitches from you. Check the reporter’s preference before you blindly send something out.
- Who needs to pitch directly to reporters anymore? I use a press release repository site for my releases. And they say they get journalists there every day. Well, first find out what they mean by journalists. You’d be surprised by the answer – if you actually got one. According to the reporters I surveyed, none of them use such sites to get news stories. Sure, these sites can help with SEO, but you probably won’t get media coverage – even if the site says journalists picked up your release.
- I deserve media coverage. After all, reporters have already covered my competitor and I pay for advertising. This may sting a bit, but… you deserve nothing! And advertising and news are usually separate. If you want pay for play, find a media outlet that offers that and invest your dollars there. Otherwise, back off.
- If I get on Oprah, I will be a success. I can’t tell you how many people call me and ask if I can get them on Oprah (which I have done for three clients). Here’s the truth about Oprah: her audience may not be your target market – no matter how much you love her. And one interview will not make or break you – ever!
- I need experience to get major media coverage. Well, it helps, but it ain’t necessarily so! A story is more important than media interview experience. (after all, how many times have we seen an inexperienced person being interviewed for a hot story. It happens all the time.