Daily Buzz: What Constitutes a PR Fail?

Not hearing back from your media contacts? You may be annoying them. Also: how to leverage criticism for creativity.

Getting the word out about your association often requires swift, tactical public relations maneuvers. But there is such a thing as a #PRFail—and the journalists and other media contacts on the receiving end of your ineffective pitch won’t be afraid to share it, driving the wrong kind of attention to your organization.

So, what constitutes a PR mistake? “The most offensive PR practice as reported by over 500 journalists—by far—is receiving a pitch that is irrelevant to the writers’ beat,” says Domenica D’Ottavio on the HubSpot blog.

Other pet peeves: too many follow-ups, and pitches that are purely promotional with no actual story attached.

“It’s important to make sure you’re offering something of value to writers and editors,” D’Ottavio says. “Create compelling, newsworthy content that would appeal to their readership, and tie it back to your client’s goal or mission. Then, once you have a relevant pitch, reach out.”

Criticism’s Role in Innovation

Many assume that criticism is the enemy of creativity and innovation, but that’s not necessarily true, argue Roberto Verganti and Don Norman on Harvard Business Review.

“To create breakthroughs, it is necessary to leverage the contrasts that come from critique instead of escaping them,” they say.

Verganti and Norman suggest trying the “yes, but, and” approach: “When you propose Idea A, a colleague first addresses what he perceives to be a flaw in it, provides constructive feedback (this is the ‘but’), and then suggests a possible way to overcome or avoid the flaw, yielding Idea B (this is the ‘and’).”

Then, the receiver of the feedback should do the same. Acknowledge Idea B, provide critique, and add a new, improved Idea C.

“This kind of constructive interaction encourages a deep cycle of critical dialogues that can lead to a coherent, breakthrough idea,” the authors say.

Other Links of Note

Thinking of moving away from an ad-supported podcast or content model? Podcast host Tim Ferriss shares his experience—and why he’s going back to ads.

If your annual meeting uses the same venue every year, try these tips from BizBash CEO David Adler to refresh the space.

Remote workers often experience a decrease in productivity during the summer. Fast Company offers tips on how to keep them motivated this season.

(lukpedclub/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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