Top 7 Media Relations Mistakes by Mickie Kennedy

Reprinted by the kind permission of Mickie Kennedy. You may not be ready to search out media for your book promotions. Even so, check out these tips so you can work well with the media, whether they be bloggers or journalists.


In your dream world, media relations would probably consist of getting in touch with a news reporter or a blogger, telling them your story, and getting all the coverage you want from them. Unfortunately, the reality is much different. Media relations is a slow, give-and-take process that requires patience and proper etiquette.

To build beneficial relationships, you need to start by avoiding these 7 media relations mistakes:

1. Offering a bunch of hype – You’re dealing with the news media, so offering up a bunch of hype with no substance is never a good idea. The media wants facts, statistics, and non-biased information. So, for your own benefit, tone it down a few notches.

2. Writing weak press releases – Make sure your press releases have strong headlines that instantly grab the editor’s attention, and focus on a story that someone outside of your company will actually care about.

3. Being rigid about a story’s angle – Editors and journalists want to give their readers stories they’ll actually care about. Usually, this means making the story less about blowing your horn and more about a facet of the story that has broad appeal. Whenever you see the story is changing, you need to be willing to roll with it.

4. Dropping off the media’s radar – Stay in the awareness of your media contacts by sending them “thank you” notes when they help you out, “nice to meet you” notes when you make a new contact, and complimentary notes when they write articles you enjoy (writers love to hear you’re reading all of their articles, not just the ones about you).

5. Not taking no for an answer – There’s a thin line between properly pushing your story and being an unbearable nuisance. Make sure you’re aware of that line and that you don’t cross it. Look, nobody likes getting rejected, but that’s a huge part of media relations.

6. Being afraid to follow up – That being said, there’s nothing wrong with following up with the media. It’s important that you follow up regularly with phone calls and emails. When you follow up, be specific about who you are and what you want. This helps to cut through all the B.S. to get straight to the point.

7. Failing to reciprocate – All relationships, including those with the media, are two-way streets. That means you need to be willing to give as much (or more) than you receive. So, when the media contacts you for help on something that doesn’t necessarily serve your self-interests, do your best to accommodate them. Giving back goes a long way to strengthening your relationship and helping you receive more in the future.


Written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the home of affordable press release distribution. This article previously appeared in PR Fuel (  PR Fuel ( showcases advice and articles on social media, PR, publicity, and online marketing.

Download the free 150-page ebook Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here:

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