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Today is Fat Tuesday. For Christians (or for anyone else looking for a party), it’s a day to eat and drink extensively. After today, many people will be giving up a bad habit of theirs until Easter. Sacrifices could include eating unhealthy foods, TV, coffee or even (gasp) Facebook or Twitter.
In the public relations world, many of us have bad habits that need to be purged. So in honor of the holiday, you’ve got today to pinpoint those bad habits and enjoy them while they last. Starting tomorrow, make the effort to go the extra step and avoid lazy PR.
Here are just a few ideas:
Don’t give up fatty foods, give up fatty pitches.
Keep your pitches quick and to the point. As a former reporter, I know all about being bombarded with pitches while still having to concentrate on making the next story deadline. There simply isn’t enough time to read through details. So don’t include them. A reporter will be able to get the point of your pitch in only a few sentences. If he or she wants to pursue the idea, the details can follow. But keep the initial pitch trim. It’s far more likely to be read. And that’s half the battle.
Don’t give up social media, USE social media
While giving up Facebook or Twitter time might be a good sacrifice for those who waste days away looking at friends’ pictures, PR professionals should make an effort to utilize what social media has to offer. Reporters are just like everyone else nowadays; they’re accessible online. So instead of simply mass-mailing a list or sending out generic e-mails, try to connect with your contacts more personably. Find them online and send a personalized message. Even if you don’t have something to pitch them on right now, forming a friendly social media relationship will surely pay off in the future.
Don’t give up TV, get on it
Sometimes PR industry professionals get too set on pitching one type of media. Whether that be newspapers, print magazines, online publications or blogs, it’s important to consider all types of outlets. Getting your client on a TV or radio show may require a bit more work but it can definitely pay off by reaching a whole new market. People today can choose to get their news in many different fashions. Be sure you’re not ignoring those who choose to read less often and are more likely to turn on the radio or television.
There are certainly many more we could list here but the important thing is recognizing which ones pertain to you. Remember, you can enjoy them today. But give them up tomorrow.