Polish PR software producer Prowly asked PR pros what they think are deadly sins in PR. I think, the biggest PR sin is to have the same working routine as ten years ago. Many PR pros will tell you that the inevitable “Did you get my press release?”-call is a no-go today, but in truth, the sinning starts much earlier.
Excel and Outlook
Many PR agencies still use Excel sheets as their primary contact database. If they send out a press release, they simply copy and paste all email addresses in BCC.
This procedure opens the door for many potential fuckups. First, hosting providers limit the number of recipients within one email. Agencies tend to splitting up their mailing list in several parts, but this gets messy very fast. You always bear the risk, that one journalist gets the same press release multiple times. Second, it could happen that a sender mistakenly paste the email addresses in CC instead of BCC – showing the journalists who else received the info. Third, this method almost never offers an unsubscribe button, which can be a reason for being identified as a spammer and causing reputational damage to your domain name.
Sending out press releases through your email client is also not giving you any insights on how often a recipient opened your email or how he interacted with the information provided. You also cannot compare statistics of press releases, which is important to evaluate when and what topic gets the most attention.
SEO in PR
PR pros know the importance of positioning an expert in the media. However, only a few consultants put a focus on SEO. This surprises me, as studies clearly show that the vast majority of journalist start their research with a simple google search.
A deadly sin
When digitalization hit the media houses, they often condemned or ignored it until they had no other option. PR should learn from this example. Keep doing PR the old-fashioned way will become a deadly sin for every PR expert.