We’ve talked about bad marketing advice before, and many of those tips are transferable to PR (because there is a grey area!), but what about specific bad PR advice?

Here are seven things we have heard other people say about PR that made us cringe and why you should avoid them (the advice and the people that gave it).

BAD PR ADVICE #1: Any press is good press

We are in an age where consumers actually care about the values behind the brand. They want to deal with brands they can trust. Getting caught in the midst of a scandal will be more of a death sentence than a funny story to survive. Volkswagen is still feeling the pressure of the emissions scandal and there are plenty of other examples we could cover. Even large corporations take a massive hit, so how would you fare if you were a small to medium business? Your goal should be to create positive buzz about your brand. Even if your brand is a little more badass, you can still have a squeaky clean record and strong ties to your audience community.

BAD PR ADVICE #2: You have to be controversial to get noticed

There are plenty of ways for you to generate buzz about your brand. You want to make sure your brand is associated with a positive message. Controversy might put you in the limelight for a short while, but it will fade pretty quickly when the next person comes along and does something controversial (with Donald Trump running for president that means daily…). People get bored. And with so much negativity crowding social platforms, the stuff that is more memorable are the positive stories. It gets people sharing pretty quickly. Besides, you can spice things up without creating negativity.

BAD PR ADVICE #3: You can figure it out as you go

Like your overall marketing plan, your PR plan needs to be set in place well before launching it. A great plan will have milestones and goals built into it so you can check your progress along the way. Starting without a plan set in stone means you never know what happens next. Without a strong strategy in place, how will you ensure that what you are doing is driving your overall business goals forward?

BAD PR ADVICE #4: Just say what you need to say to get coverage

Getting the interest of a journalist is great, but if you can’t back up your pitch with what you promised, then don’t bother. Your “foot in the door” will be quickly cut off when they realize you don’t have that expert representing you or you can’t actually back up your claims that your ground-breaking product will cure cancer. And you may think it’s just a little white lie, but it can quickly snowball into something very unmanageable.

BAD PR ADVICE #5: It’s all about the hype

While building excitement is important, you can’t preach the hype to a journalist. Your pitch should be informative, not salesy. If a journalist feels like you are shouting at them, they will likely delete your pitch and send all future pitches to the trash bin just as fast. Provide a great story angle and back it up with facts to get them interested. Keep it simple and to the point.

BAD PR ADVICE #6: If you ignore it, it will go away

Yeah, this never works, especially when today’s consumer is so connected to information at all times. An ignored situation will fester and grow until you deal with it. You may as well deal with it while it is a small speed bump rather than a mountain. If someone has told you to ignore an issue or they dismiss it, be wary of what else they may be ignoring. It could affect you in the long run.

BAD PR ADVICE #7: Give as much information as possible

How would you feel if every email you wrote was the length of War and Peace? (Maybe an exaggeration, but by the tenth pitch email, it can feel that way to a busy reporter). Keep it short and relevant. You need enough information to grab attention but not too much to bore them.

Originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.