There is so much advice out there on how to stand out and increase your visibility that it’s hard to know which strategies to focus on. Many PR professionals are still teaching “how to write a killer press release” or “how to get featured in O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE.”

Do you need a press release? If you were to get featured in O Magazine, how many of your ideal clients would see it?

Now more than ever, there are so many tactics being taught that don’t work, which makes it difficult to find the strategies that will garner results.

Here are the most popular mistakes made in PR campaigns:

  • Press releases: This term should have vanished a long time ago. As a very, savvy colleague of mine said, “We stopped using press releases when we stopped using the fax machine.” Aside from a very few industries (government, public policy), no one uses press releases and the majority of editors, journalists and reporters don’t want to see them. Do this instead: Send a personal, informal email showing that you’re familiar with the reporter’s work and why their readers would be interested in your story.
  • Media Kits: Unless you have a blog that sells advertising or your own media publication, you don’t need a splashy media kit. Journalists aren’t going to sift through pages of a PDF with charts and graphs. And they absolutely hate email attachments. Do this instead: If you have important statistics that enhance your story, mention them in your pitch. And if you have photos that you believe must go along with your pitch, link to them.
  • National Media: Not every business needs national media. I cannot stress this enough. So many media strategists dangle this carrot to get clients, and what most entrepreneurs don’t know is that landing a national press spot is very expensive. And it may do nothing to increase fans or revenue. Do this instead: Focus on a blog that has your customer base with a loyal following. The most important aspect is not their numbers of readers and fans, but how obsessed they are with the blogger. Offer to contribute an article, pitch to be interviewed and offer a discount on your product (if appropriate).