PR 101: Public Relations Don’ts

To help you navigate your way through the maze of the PR world, we're going to be posting a range of articles that share our hints and tips. We'll look at best practice and what to do, but for our first post we thought we'd look at what not to do. So here's our top 5 Public Relations Don'ts!

  • Always ensure what you’re promoting is ready for market. It's no good implementing effective PR if your product or service isn’t ready. It will only create disappointment, credibility loss and long term reputational damage that will need its own crisis management strategy to repair.
  • Make sure you have total confidence in what you are promoting. What is the point of getting great PR coverage for something that isn’t very good? See the previous point for the damage this will cause and what will need to be done.
  • Always be true to yourself and fully transparent. Look at Tiger Woods for how damaging propagating a false reputation can be.
  • Be aware of the history of an event or promotional tool you and your product are going to be associated with. GQ Awards’ association with Hugo Boss proved highly ill-advised when the irreverent and politically astute Russell Brand was invited to the 2013 prestigious awards ceremony and pointed out that the style label was initially associated with kitting out Nazis. This would not have been so damaging had the label and GQ organisers been upfront about this and not tried to sweep it under the ‘red’ carpet. Brand was kicked out of the ceremony but it's Hugo Boss and GQ that lost millions of pounds in brand equity
  • When presenting at an event or using social media, talk in a conversational style. Understand your audience and do not make wooden corporate statements or impose bold political dogma. All politicians who have tried to engage with Mumsnet have fallen foul of this. From Gordon Brown to David Cameron don't barge in where angels fear to tread without first assessing the approach and closely analysing the audience. Tony Blair getting slow hand clapped at the WI conference in 2007 is another excellent example of this.

Posted by James Barton

08th Jul 2015

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