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Four Signs That Your PR Professionals Stink (and May Be Wrecking Your Business)

by Melissa Duko  |  
May 6, 2016

If you're anything like me, the decision to hire a PR agency didn't come lightly. Countless hours were spent researching the perfect match for your business. Of course, you wanted the best PR company your budget allowed. You've tirelessly gone over testimonials, customer experiences, and media placements to vet them out.

Sure, some media placements are impressive, but, when every word counts, it's important not to overlook the details.

Here are a few mistakes PR professionals might be making and how your business could be negatively affected.

1. They're grammar is poor

(See what I did there?)

In all seriousness, grammar is the crux of basic communication. It must be correct. Having poor grammar can make you look less educated and can lead to credibility concerns, too. After all, these folks are in charge of making your brand shine, and their actions become an extension of your brand.

Before heeding your workload to a PR professional, review these items.

  • Emails. Are they carefully crafted and to the point? Do they elicit a response? They should compel you to take action and be worded correctly. In many circumstances, an email is the first line of communication with a media professional.
  • Their website. You've probably pored over their accolades and media placements but take a careful look at how they sell themselves. Does their website have good copy? Is it free of grammar errors? If so, their attention to detail is strong, and that will likely be conveyed with your branding, too.
  • Their social media accounts. Tweeting the wrong word can cause a lot of speculation as the NBC-owned @BreakingNews Twitter account quickly found out. There's a big difference between "personal" and "personnel," and your PR firm should know the difference.
  • Their own thought leadership. Simply put, PR professionals help people like me place thought-leadership articles like this one. And when not promoting thought leadership written by their clients, they're promoting their own. Content should be well-written, error-free, and likely contain a unique perspective or angle. That tells you the PR agency knows how to construct a better story and can offer constructive feedback on your thought leadership.

If you find their written communications are well-crafted, thought out, and grammatically correct, there's a pretty strong chance they'll treat your brand with the same respect. Seek these PR professionals out. They're more likely to be articulate and less haphazard with your brand's PR.

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Melissa Duko is an editor and a content writer for eZanga, an online marketing firm.

LinkedIn: Melissa Duko 

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  • by Chris Finnie Fri May 6, 2016 via web

    While I agree with your points, you violated the first one. "Businesses hiring a PR professional likely has..." should be "likely have." Which leads me to note that proofreading is also important. Since I find it difficult to proofread my own copy, I do use grammar check. Because that's far from infallible, I've been known to hire an outside proofreader for things like my website copy.

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Fri May 6, 2016 via web

    Thanks for catching that error, Chris. We've corrected it.

  • by Luis Zea Fri May 6, 2016 via web

    Good advice and content, but the piece needs a proofreading cycle to eliminate some copy mistakes.

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