Top 10 Media Mistakes to Avoid

By Nancy Mallory

Knowing how to work with the media gives any business an advantage over the competition. Media-relations is the art and science of crafting a message so that it gets attention and is reported favorably by the press.

Here are some tips that could spare you from making the “wrong” impression.


Trying to sell the media with swag and other giveaways.


Sending unsolicited attachments with your e-mailed release.


Using industry jargon or “legalese” that people outside of your industry don’t understand.


Neglecting to put together a crisis communications plan.


Calling reporters to pitch a story when they are likely to be on deadline.


Sending out a news release when you don’t have anything newsworthy.


Writing a boring headline on a news release and not providing the Five W’s; who, what, when, where, why.


Saying “No Comment” to a reporter’s question/query. If you can’t discuss something, explain as much as you can. By not commenting, you look as if you have something to hide.


Being unprepared. Be sure to have 2-3 talking points, and make sure everyone in your organization who will talk to the media is well-versed on those points.


Providing misleading or inaccurate information.

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