This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

I was delighted to receive some feedback from one of my clients mentioning that a recent Vancouver Sun piece helped to bring her company results: “Just wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you for your help and that the Vancouver Sun article was fantastic and we’ve already seen the response from it.

She went on to request the contact info for the editor and reporter to thank them for the story. Even if it was a general piece on maternity fashion and featured the company’s competitors as well, it is gratifying to know that something like that can help out all of the local businesses involved in a fashion trend that is still new to Vancouver and Canada. Even more that my client went out of her way to thank me for my work even though the PR campaign was bringing slow and staggered results over the course of 4 months.

I also found out about one of my client’s competitors who was not featured in the Sun article and her Facebook response to it. She had written to the Sun editor to express her shock and disappointment about the omission of her store and other local retailers in the article, and the inclusion of UK online maternity line Isabella Oliver, who has made the collection available to Canadians for quite some time. She felt snubbed, and had written about her feelings of anger even after the editor had written back an apology about not being able to include all of the maternity retailers in the city.

This got me to thinking about good and bad PR. I do relate to the store owner’s disappointment, but from a publicist’s point of view I know how difficult it can be for the media to source out outlets and information for their features, especially in a short turnaround. Those who luck out are usually the ones who make an effort to send releases on a regular basis. An essential for any business wanting to get into the media will also want to have a media kit ready for background information on a potential story.

So, a few tips for good PR:
1) Send out releases every few months on new products/services.
2) Follow up to ensure receipt and remind media in case they didn’t remember content; and be sure to follow up if they say they are saving up the info for a feature in the future.
3) Report any factual errors to an editor after an article has been published, but don’t count on a reprint or correction.

And a few tips on avoiding bad PR:
1) Never blame the media for an omission if you did not send them any information on your business prior to publication of the article.
2) When corresponding with media, always make sure it is on a positive note; a note of thanks, or provide information for a possible future piece.

One of my favourite blogs is The Bad Pitch Blog – it reminds me that as publicists we are never perfect but must always strive to be. One pitch a company had attempted to make for a client who survived the US Airways crash included the following:

Dear All,
A grapeVine client for over a year, Nico Iliev was a survivor of yesterday’s near tragic, but highly devastating US Airways crash-landing in the Hudson River.
Nico is highly traumatized by the incident, but is available to speak through his life and business partner, Don Rodrigues, for any interviews.
Please let me know if you would like to get a statement from Nico through Don. I take great sensitivity with this incident, and would as delicately as possible offer yet another perspective, through Nico’s story, on this matter.
Nico Iliev is well-known for his fashion photography, having done work with fashion houses and individuals globally. He is also the sole photographer for transsexual muse and mogul Amanda Lepore.
Respectfully yours,

PR no-no’s:
1) Not done in a release format
2) Survivor not available for a statement and spokesperson can’t speak first-hand about the incident.

Visit The Bad Pitch Blog here.

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