“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ~ Pablo Picasso

I am constantly giving public relations advice and tips, often sharing best practices in PR for individuals, start-ups brands, companies, and creative agencies.

This list holds my top advice over the years whittled down to simple lists of what to do in PR and what not to do in PR.

Jules’ Rules for PR Strategy

If you say yes to any of these, then public relations is for you:

  • Do you want to get your name out there?
  • Do you want to get in front of industry professionals?
  • Do you want to entice investors?
  • Do you want to raise awareness and get new customers?

Jules’ Rules for Taming the Content Beast

  • Repurpose
  • Reuse
  • Re-assess
  • Repeat
  • Recalibrate your metrics

Jules’ Rules for Crisis Communications

  • Regret
  • Resolve
  • Reform
  • Restitution

Jules’ Rules to Avoid a PR or Social Media Crisis

Top Actions that Cause a PR or Media Crisis: P is for Problem

  • Parody (or humor that has gone wrong)
  • People (aren’t all problems really just people problems)
  • Pets (really anything that harms animals or nature)
  • Philanthropy (whom you are giving your money to because their problems become your problems)
  • Policies (where are you vulnerable in your procedures and practices, look especially for discriminatory issues here)
  • Politics (obviously, politics gets people into trouble. Be careful which organizations you support, fund, or work with)
  • Pollution (or anything that hurts the environment)
  • Prayer (anything related to criticizing, forcing, or condemning another’s religion or religion in general)
  • Prison (criminal activities, whether at work or on personal time)
  • Profits (the more you make the more people are going to dig into your revenues, spending, and such)

Avoid The Five Faults

  • Rules and Regulations
  • Data and Technology
  • Social Exuberance
  • Sexism and Lack of Diversity
  • Celebrity Style (CEO & otherwise)

Jules’ Rules for Media Relations

Be a Media MVP (most valued professional)

  • Always Warm-Up
  • Fortify Trust
  • Don’t Skip the Cooldown
  • Let’s remember, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. And if you decide that you should, make sure you have a solid plan in place.
  • Know what topics you will respond to and keep to your top three areas of expertise, niches or branding goals.
  • Write out the basic text of likely responses ahead of time so that you have well-written verbiage available on short notice.
  • Have all of your digital assets gathered in one place online so you can send links (for example your bio, photo, and company page should be shared as a link, not attachment unless specifically requested.)
  • If you do not have time to provide a thoughtful response, skip it. A random email that irritates the journalist is not worth it.
  • Include links to your social media so that if you are included, the writer can share via social media mention too.
  • The key to media relations is the relationship.
  • It seems counter-intuitive, but mass emailing a press release to many people does not get you more chances of coverage.
  • The media list is really is the only step, because if you do not have a solid media list, you have nothing.
  • Remember that NO RESPONSE is a response. Don’t keep emailing and calling.

Jules’ Rules for HARO Pitches

  • Think like a journalist. 
  • Stay on topic. 
  • Write professionally. 
  • Bullet-point your expertise. 
  • Make your quote printable. 
  • Format counts. 
  • Do not try to hook the journalist with a “call me.” 
  • Downloads and demos are a bad idea. 
  • Pitch people, not products.
  • HARO is not a sales platform.

Jules’ Rules for Social Media Engagement

  • Pick ONE social media tool to learn and use one at a time…
  • Adding only ONE at a time as you master each.
  • Ditch any social media account that you don’t get or don’t like.
  • ‘IN’ Source social media marketing help as needed.
  • Remember, your online networking should resemble your in-person networking. If you’re obnoxious, blurt out inappropriate things in public, interrupt conversations, and the like, then go ahead and do that online. If you are quiet, relaxed and take the time to get to know people, then do that online. It should be a match to your real personality.

Jules’ Rules for LinkedIn

  • Remember to treat LinkedIn differently than Facebook!
  • Segment your connections to engage each group in specific ways.
  • Provide niche content that is of use to you and to your connections.
  • Engage in a variety of ways. Just posting and liking is not enough.
  • If you make the first move, prepare to follow up and be available.
  • Do not be surprised if your missing photo turns people off.
  • Respond to those who message you or comment on your posts.

Jules’ Rules for Hiring a Public Relations Consultant

  • Your team is tired, burnout, overstretched, or under-delivering.
  • Your clients are canceling contracts, changing agencies, or limiting their services with your firm.
  • Your team is asking for help, running out of ideas, or not prepared to take on more work.
  • Your clients are using several other agencies instead of maximizing the services that you offer.
  • Your team cannot or does not go after new business and win it.
  • You just don’t know what you’re doing but you know you need help.

Jules’ Rules for Using Press Releases

Be S.M.A.R.T.

  • S: Strategic Stories that are well planned and developed, that are…
  • M: Meaningful to the recipient (hint: this does not mean your boss), with
  • A: Accurate facts & newsworthiness distributed to media lists that are…
  • R: Relevant and
  • T: Targeted.

Jules’ Rules for Creating a PR Plan

  • Define PR objectives or outcomes (specific and measurable)
  • Define PR goals (what you will achieve if you reach these objectives)
  • Determine target PR audiences (internal, external, type, etc.)
  • Develop your PR tactics, tools you will use to execute your plan of attack
  • Create a calendar to organize when you will execute these PR tactics (try to look ahead one year)
  • Measure outcomes and assign a value to results (remember: garbage in/garbage out)

Jules’ Rules for PR Interns

  • Google yourself
  • Trim your nails
  • Google your supervisor
  • Don’t comment on your supervisor’s nails
  • Be specific