For businesses just starting out without funding, a lot of personal money, or the best sales funnel, you need to acquire customers cheaply without paying a lot for that traffic. Most small business owners turn to PR to sell their story in hopes of getting coverage and maybe even going viral! While it’s not easy to go viral, nor is it very easy to close a story, here are a few things you should NEVER say in PR to make sure you’re not just turning the reporters off.
“This product is revolutionary.”
Canned lines like this are said much too often and should never be used without just cause, but even then, it’s tricky to use a line like this because reporters hear it all the time and get pessimistic about your product and service, making it harder to sell them on the story, so make sure you’re always working hard to build great thoughts and emotions in their heads for your company making them think it’s revolutionary without having to outright say so.
“We’re going to sell 10,000 more widgets next week.”
Sales forecasting isn’t news, nor is it exciting because most of those numbers are usually a lot of fluff without any substance. What is exciting is how you (realistically) plan to achieve certain sales goals and successes you’ve had before that prove scalable.
“We’re going to grow our business through Twitter and Facebook”
So, we’re way past the stage where Social Media is a new thing that everyone’s trying to understand, and journalists all understand that most businesses don’t grow through Twitter and Facebook alone, and they kind of lose hope in your business going anywhere anytime soon when you say misguided things like, “Social Media’s going to be big for us and will make us go viral.”
“We’re about to sign a contract with XYZ company.”
First off, this isn’t news because the contract may never happen and how would that make you look if the contract was never signed? Second, if XYZ company wanted to keep the deal confidential until everything was signed, they might pull out of signing the contract because they’ll have lost trust in you.
“We have no competition.”
That’s a blatant lie and everyone knows that. While you may be the first company to do something very specifically, you most certainly are competing with someone to some reasonable degree which would merit you calling them a competitor. What’s worse is outright denial of having competitors when you clearly do have competition doing the same thing you are, but you’re just looking to position yourself as the ONLY business to do what you’re doing.
Keep these canned lines out of your pitches and you’ll have better chances of closing stories, or at the very least, you’ll have saved your credibility with reporters who’d be willing to hear your pitch another day rather than writing your off forever as a delusional and desperate fool.
This blog post was written by Danny Wong, co-founder and Lead Evangelist of BlankLabel.com, a men’s dress shirts company looking to change the way men shop through customization and co-creation. Check out Blank Label’s press page to see how much coverage they’ve received.