The ‘dos and don’ts’ of effective PR


Public relations can be a transformative tool for many businesses and a great compliment to existing corporate marketing strategies. CENTURY 21 Australia’s national public relations strategy aims to keep CENTURY 21 offices and agents front of mind for consumers looking to buy, sell and lease real estate.


While CENTURY 21’s national PR strategy is great for brand recognition and media exposure on a nationwide scale, offices can also potentially give themselves a stronger competitive edge by implementing their own PR initiatives on a local level.


A localised PR strategy does not need to be overly complex or expensive – in fact, you may even be able to execute one for free, provided you know how to implement the right initiatives in the right ways. To help you get started, here are five fundamental ‘do’s and don’ts’ of any successful PR strategy.




1. Proofread: it is essential to proofread content several times before distributing it. Most journalists have little time for media releases or written comments that have spelling and/or grammar mistakes;


2. Build your relationships: your relationships with local journalists can effectively make or break your PR strategy – after all, they are the people who decide whether or not to give you media exposure. Most suburbs only have a few local media outlets, so it’s important to be strategic and make sure that you build positive connections with local journalists from the outset; get off on the wrong foot and there won’t usually be that many alternatives. As a starting point, you may want to consider inviting your local newspaper’s property editor out for a coffee and offering them a few insights into the current state of the local market;


3. Focus on newsworthiness: before distributing content to the media, ensure that you’ve considered the relevance, timeliness and newsworthiness of your story. Are you offering something interesting that is on point with what people are talking about at the moment? Or is your content “old news” that everybody already knows about. Journalists love a good scoop, so try to provide them with unique content that is of interest to their readers;


4. Follow up: if you’re relatively certain your story is newsworthy, and you haven’t received a response back from a journalist after a day or so, try following up with an email or phone call. Many journalists get swamped with emails and often appreciate being reminded of content they’ve been sent;


5. Double-check for accuracy: before you send out any form of content to media, it is important to make sure that all of your facts and assertions are correct. Making incorrect or misleading statements in the media can not only damage your credibility with journalists, but with the public as well.




1. Misappropriate or misattribute else’s quotes: while it may seem harmless enough to attribute someone else’s quotes to yourself, doing so is considered plagiarism in the media industry, and can be both professionally and legally damaging;


2. Distribute the same release twice: if you’ve distributed content that hasn’t been picked up by any journalists (after multiple follow-ups), it is likely because the content wasn’t newsworthy enough. In most cases, re-releasing the content will find you very little success; a story usually only becomes less newsworthy the older it gets;


3. Exaggerate achievements: honesty is always the best policy when it comes to working with the media. Journalists will usually double-check information you’ve provided them – and if you’re caught out being dishonest or exaggerating, the journalist will not likely work with you again in the future;


4. Use exclamation marks: any written content designed for media should be succinct, factual and correct. There are a number of different ways to use language and grammar to create impact or excitement in written materials, but using exclamation marks is not one that usually goes down very well in media communications;


5. Be late: if a journalist has arranged to interview you, it is wise to arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to ensure that you’re on time. Being late will likely frustrate time-poor journalists, who may end up perceiving you to be more trouble than you’re worth.

Posted by George Tarbey on 23/09/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:


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