How to step around 6 common PR traps

Public relations work is rife with pitfalls. Follow these tips to circumvent the unprepared spokesperson, negative coverage and the dreaded budget overage.

Surprises are great for parties and gifts, but not so much for public relations.

PR works best when it’s reasonably predictable and reliable. This means paying attention to staffing, budgets, deadlines and prep work to ensure successful outcomes. Here are six surprises to avoid in public relations work:

The ‘bait and switch’

Let’s set a familiar scene. The client and agency contacts have happily bonded at a new business presentation, with great chemistry all around. However, by the next meeting, the cast of characters has changed without notice.

That is bad practice. Of course, employee turnover is unpredictable, but when it happens on the agency side, it should be a blip, not a breakdown. It helps if the agency leaders are transparent about the change and make it clear they’re replacing a departing worker right away.

If there are chemistry issues, address those at the outset to help establish trust in the teams that will work together.

The surprise budget overage

When a scope of work and budget have been agreed upon, an unexpected increase is not a welcome surprise. Any team asked to budget an event, product launch or other initiative is expected to stand by its projections.

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