All businesses dream of the day when they will land that front-page story in the local paper or even national press via top-tier media like the New York Times or USA Today .

The most important thing that you can do during your ride to the top is to sidestep stumbling blocks that can prevent you from reaching your PR goals. Here are six things to avoid in your PR efforts so that you won’t get derailed along the way:

1. In-house confusion : Make a decision about who will be the official “voice” of your company in press releases, interviews, and other public activities. The time to figure this out is before a reporter calls and before you pitch a story to a media contact – not after.

2. Not knowing your story : The public will not grasp your business’ story if you can’t clearly articulate it. Establish what you want to communicate about your business and stick to these points during your PR activities. Share these talking points with other staff as well. You will reap the benefits if everyone is communicating the same message.

3. Forgetting the facts : This connects with the significance of knowing your story. Make sure that you can communicate the vision/mission of your business, reasoning behind your products and services, and other important details.

4. Not setting goals : Be clear about the goals of your interaction with the media during the planning phase of your PR efforts.

5. Lack of flexibility : So, you’ve made a successful story pitch or have been called to participate in an interview. One of your main priorities at this point is to be flexible. At times, you might need to drop everything if the media calls. Being a flexible and accessible contact will make you a long-term source for your media contacts.

6. Unrealistic Expectations : You might not get that front page story for your business right off the bat, but don’t get discouraged. Adjust your expectations about the media coverage your business will receive and be willing to work yourself up the ladder.

News Reporter