20 things PR pros should not do

Recently, you learned the 20 things you should know how to do. Here are the things you had better not be doing.

Recently, Ragan contributor Susan Young showed us the 20 things a PR pro should know how to do, which got me thinking about the things PR professionals should not do—the things that will cause you to lose clients, fail to impress your boss, and generally stagnate in the industry.

Here are those things, broken into four categories:

Media Relations

1. Phone journalists when you know they’re on deadline.

2. Be unprepared for questions when pitching a reporter.

3. Miss a deadline.

4. Spam journalists with the same release, with no consideration of what they actually want.

5. Fail to provide interesting, exciting, and high-resolution images for stories.

Social Media

6. Delete negative comments on blog post or Facebook pages.

7. Focus on numbers, not engagement.

8. Not bother monitoring conversation.

9. Share nothing but links to offers and your own website.

10. Not familiarize yourself with analysis tools.

Client Relationships

11. Fail to set clear targets, expectations, and evaluation methods.

12. Not work out a clear approval process.

13. Do whatever your client asks even if you know it’s a waste of their time and money.

14. Not push for opinions and viewpoints.

15. Ignore situations if they go wrong; mistakes happen—it’s how you deal with them that counts.


16. Churn out news releases with no strategy or reason behind them.

17. Get coverage for its own sake.

18. Fail to make sure press, advertising, social media activity, etc. are joined up.

19. Not make the time to read newspapers, blogs, and magazines.

20. Not hold regular planning and brainstorming meetings.

Brooke Nolan is a PR professional in Great Britain. She blogs at PR Tips, where a version of this story first appeared.

Topics: PR


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