10 Foolproof Ways to Waste Money on PR

Waste money on PRThere's yet another anti-PR article making the rounds, and this time it was printed in none other than the New York Times. When I first saw it, I thought it lacked substance and hoped it would go away. But like any anti-PR article in a major publication, this thing has legs.

So for those who would like to follow in the article author’s bumbling footsteps, I'm here to help.

Checkout these sure-fire methods to squander your time and money in pursuit of PR:

1. Hire the first person who comes along
If someone approaches you pitching to handle your PR, obviously they’re the best person for the job. Forget caveat emptor – there’s no need to interview other consultants and agencies to find out strengths and weaknesses, and under no circumstances should you ask for proposals from multiple firms to learn about different approaches. If someone knocks on your door, that is clearly good enough.

2. When approached to get started with PR immediately, hurry up and give the green light
Someone wants to take your money, and quick? By all means give it to them. Checking references, asking for a plan, and defining measurable objectives are a time sink. Don’t know in which half of the year they’ll be doing most of their work? Who cares?! Jump into the deep end and see how it goes.

3. Confuse PR with Publicity
This is a big one. Rest assured that PR stands for press release, and nothing but old-school print publications will give you that vuvuzela buzz – it’s the only thing that counts.

Make sure you don’t hire anyone who thinks otherwise, and forget other forms of PR that could be beneficial to a restaurant, such as grass roots outreach and partnerships, social media and community management, events, and so on. Your PR person should be on the phone everyday – dialin’ and smilin’ – to beg traditional media reporters to give you big ink.

4. Make sure you have a “chorus of self-promoting hosannas”
Your stories are fabulous and unique. People have never heard of anything close to resembling you, and reporters just can’t wait to tell your story to the teeming masses. Throw it on the wall, see what sticks…then sit back to watch the riches roll in!

5. Get excited by a documentary film crew
A less common occurrence, but if someone wants to film you, there’s no way that could be bad. Documentary crews love it when people get along and things are going smoothly. It’s gold, baby!

6. Be sure to target everyone
Your message will work best if you make it general enough to appeal to everyone. Go for “boomers and Wall Streeters and Gen X, Y and Z’ers.” And if you know what Millennials are, go for them too. Everyone knows Millennials and Baby Boomers like the same things.

7. Blame all PR people for your lack of discrimination
Hey, if the first people who knocked on your door are crazy-making, then all PR people must be incompetent reality-twisters, right? “All of them.” Never mind that you haven’t actually done any legwork to see if this is true – your hair-trigger experience is all that counts.

8. In a pinch, hire a friend
Again, there is no need to go through the pesky process of interviewing multiple firms or reviewing proposals. If at first you don’t succeed…find somebody who knows somebody who does PR. Always take the path of least resistance.

9. Be wowed by a celebrity PR person
A “PR” person who appears on TV? Where do I sign?! I’m sure they automatically rock, and will have plenty of time to worry about how best to promote your business.

10. Know that you’re never wrong
Be confident in your knowledge that all PR people are the problem, and write a piece for a national publication saying so. Imply that you’re now smarter than the world’s PR people because you’ve found a secret: one prominent tweet is worth 1,000 press releases.

Be sure to disregard the fact that the qualified PR people (which you never took the time to find) already know that….

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Photo credit: Pleeker