Let’s face it, we’re all a bit obsessed with social media. This modern technology for communicating saves us time, money and gets us instant exposure to communities far and wide with the flick of a hashtag. We share details about our lives, as personal as our current location down to our favorite companies to support or represent. We have grown comfortable and accustomed to this simple yet perplex way of sharing our important life updates. Although this personal advertising shortcut is seemingly non-strategic, the media can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Your followers are watching, they’re keeping tabs on you and so are your competitors. Keeping your supporters, will take maintenance, creativity, persistence and trial and error.

Take a look at my list of some common PR mistakes to help put things in perspective for your current or even past strategies for outreach, try out the alternatives for more effective outcomes.

  1. USING ONLY ONE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT FOR SHARING ALL BUSINESS UPDATES

With such a broad range of outlets to use, having only one account is limiting your brand and your company’s exposure. Use every social networking site to your advantage: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Linkedin, are all efficient for sharing a logo/brand/story. You’ll have a better chance and opportunity to get your story out to the masses. Also, sometimes managing separate accounts for your personal page and business pages are appropriate for the sake of your company’s legitimacy.

   2.) PITCHING DIFFERENT MEDIA OUTLETS WITH THE SAME MESSAGE

Making useful connections and reaching out to the media takes time, strategy and patience. If your methods for getting exposure include pitching or cold calls to local publications, your emails and your cold call pitches will need to be customized. Don’t copy and paste your greeting, do your research and include a blurb that is linked to that publication or that journalist’s recent article that caught your interest. Journalists pay the most attention to the first two sentences of your email, so make them enticing and relevant to your contacts coverage area. Journalists are only human, build a relationship before attempting to build the connection.

  3.) NOT TAKING TIME TO CREATE THE PERFECT HEADLINE/SUBJECT

Journalists are pitched over 100 emails a day, they can look at the headline of your email and decide whether it’s worth a read or going straight into the trash. Make sure your email’s subject line is so interesting that it must be read, this is your first impression, it will determine your credibility as a source and your creativity to provide pertinent information on a story to be shared. Key words to use: Secret, How, Top, New, Revealing, Your, People, or Now. Make it bold and be direct with a call to action for the reader.

Being confident in your brand will benefit your approach. To be confident in your approach, preparation is key. There are levels and often times hidden rules to handling media. If you want your brand to reach the right people, the right way, there are some steps you’ll need to take and others to avoid. When you are able to find the right methods that get you the success you’re looking for, write them down, keep a record of what works and what does not. An error or two are bound to occur in your journey, but lessons learned are beneficial to your brand’s progress in the long run.