PR Do's & Don'ts

When Working with a Public Relations Specialist


There is nothing more exciting
 than the start of a public relations campaign.


When you enter into a relationship with a public relations expert you want to do everything possible to set the stage for success. It is important to establish expectations. This is what will ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

This one-page Do and Don't overview helps all concerned to get the most of the each public relations opportunity that presents itself.

Do:
  • Review (and edit where necessary) the press release and PSA (public service announcement) in a timely manner prior to media distribution. Also approve press kit materials (if applicable).
  • Let the PR expert know when you are contacted by the media for either more information or for interview purposes. Not only can the consultant assist you with the interview process, she can avoid needless and duplicate follow-up calls.
  • Follow the strategy your PR specialist has created for the above situation if the specialist is not available. This will allow you to effectively respond to media requests.
  • Notify the specialist right away if you make any additions to a planned activity or event. This information can often be used to develop more visibility.
  • Because accuracy is very important when it comes to building credibility with the media, it is very important to notify the consultant immediately when you delete activities or personalities. She/he may be pitching a news angle based upon something that no longer exists.
Don’t:
  • The media can be confused by client-initiated phone calls and emails. Unless it has been previously arranged, ALL communications with the media – calls, emails, etc. – are to be handled by the PR specialist who secured the media opportunity.
  • It will be important for you to remain professional with the media. Do not tell them what they should do. This style of media engagement does not leave a favorable impression. Neither do efforts to contact them afterwards in order to ‘become friends’ for future opportunities.
  • Scheduled interviews are important. Don’t ignore yours. Should an emergency arise, notify the specialist so that the opportunity can be rescheduled.  Remember: the media will seek out other sources, if necessary.
  • Media materials (press release) created as work-for-hire are yours. Articles, blogs, website content created by the specialist for the specialist’s purposes are not work-for-hire pieces. You must arrange for the right to use said materials with the specialist.
Setting the above ground rules at the onset of a new engagement can eliminate miscommunication and enhance your desired results.