“Failure is not the only punishment for laziness. There is also the success of others.”
I’ve been working in PR for over 15 years, so you can bet I’ve got some expert thoughts in how to make the absolute worst PR decisions possible. Below are my top 5 ways to ensure the worst PR outcomes.
1. Be inconsistent in your messages. Sure, big successful companies come up with a clear platform of messages around their product that they use over and over again, but that’s so boring. Rework your key messages frequently and make sure they change radically. Use lots of industry lingo too, to make your messages obscure. People should have to work to be able to understand who you are and what you stand for. Don’t make it so easy on them.
2. Hire a professional PR firm but don’t listen to them. It’s true, you weren’t getting great results on your own, which is why you hired the professionals in the first place. But once they start getting results, (or even before), decide that you know better and over-rule their recommendations.
3. Only reach out to the media when you want something. Don’t bother to familiarize yourself with media outlets. They won’t notice. And take your time responding to media requests. They overstate the importance of deadlines anyway. Operate your media relations on a sporadic basis, and only when it suits you. Keep your focus on how mighty and important you are.
4. Don’t work from an annual plan. Shoot from the hip. Planning is too fussy and besides things are always changing anyway. It’s more fun to make decisions about what people think about your company on the fly.
5. Don’t respond to your PR firm in a timely manner but still expect them to produce quality deliverables on time. They can pick up your brainwaves. After all, telepathy is a valid means of communications in many movies.
I suppose that by now you’ve noticed that my tongue is firmly in my cheek for this list, but I truly have seen people implement these tactics and still expect great results. Don’t let that be you.