5 Fails That Will Make Your Career Feel Like Groundhog Day

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We get it. You’re on a tight schedule all the time, and you can never catch up. What do you do? Go for the tried and true. Why not? It’s worked before, and it saves you time.

However, sometimes those shortcuts can send you into an endless loop and get you into trouble. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to try a different approach when pitching the media. The positive results you get may just surprise you.

1. Overusing Popular Words and Catch Phrases
When you use words like “synergy,” “stakeholder,” “move the needle” and these gems over and over again in a pitch or press release, you start to sound like a broken record and unoriginal. Not only that, you unintentionally drive people away from your message rather than draw them in.

Rather than rely on the same old words that you see in every press release about your industry, switch it up. Not only will it make your message sound less flat and stale, but the right words will get more attention and give your message new momentum.

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2. Hanging Your Hat on a Fad
One thing you want to be careful of is associating your company, brand or client with the latest craze. Pop culture trends like Pokemon Go come and go so fast that it’s best to avoid connecting the two on a long-term basis because it will likely fade away. All you’re left with is an impression that not only feels dated, but can’t sustain itself (i.e., the kiss of death).

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3. Sounding Stale, Impersonal and Robotic
People don’t connect to products or widgets. They connect to the human experience. No one wants to be sold to, they want to be engaged with, and one way to do that is with a compelling story.

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Take Whitney Wolfe. After she sued her former bosses at Tinder for sexual harassment case, she created Bumble, a woman-focused dating app. Sure the female-centric element of the story is interesting, but the backstory is what really got people’s attention, kept them interested and made the brand memorable. Qualities you’re always striving for in a pitch or press release.

4. Blanketing the Media
Not every story is right for every journalist. That’s why it’s important to respect the relationships you have with the media and avoid pitching them something they’ll never feature. Take the time to research the types of stories your contacts cover and how they like to be pitched. Then, write an intro line or two that references a relevant piece they worked on or that you enjoyed. You’ll show them that you’ve done your homework and that you’re not sending the same message to everyone. After all, the media wants to feel special, too.

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5. Tracking your Efforts
The value of PR can be difficult to capture, which is why it’s critical to measure your PR activities covered by news outlets and on social media. Try a reliable and comprehensive media monitoring and measurement service like Critical Mention. We can help you determine when your strategies are successful, manage your online reputation and track key influencers like mainstream journalists and leading bloggers in your niche. Plus, our customizable tools let you perform more in-depth analysis more easily.

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Remember all it takes is trying something new the next time you pitch a story. It doesn’t have to be a monumental change. Even something small can make a big difference. Got it? Cuz I got you, babe.

How have you kept your pitches and press release messages from getting stale? Or on the flipside, why do you keep using the same tactics? What kind of results are they generating? Tweet us and let us know.