#PRfail. We’ve all seen them, commented on them, and hopefully, not directly experienced them!

There can be nothing more humiliating than realizing you’ve committed a public relations sin, and the realization that you’ve got to clean it up!

If you handle public relations for a client or in-house, here are the pitfalls that you should avoid at all costs.

Not doing your research: research should always come first, and not doing any will come at a cost. Take time to find out about the journalist and the organization they write for, as well as ensuring that you are targeting the right media for your audience. Your story will go nowhere if nobody reads it!

Bad social media: ignoring questions or queries from customers on social media platforms like Twitter is a quick way to annoy lots of people! Make sure you check regularly before any potential complaints or incidents get way out of hand. Similarly, responding to followers in the wrong way can equal a PR disaster!

Damage to your brand: we’ve all seen what can happen when social media goes terribly wrong. Some of the biggest fails in 2014 involved companies including US Airways, Smuckers and American Apparel- make sure you’re not one of them.

Forgetting to include all the information: a simple but effective reminder- make sure you include the right attachments when sending out a press release. If a photo isn’t there as promised, your news probably won’t be shared.

Using jargon: keep things simple and leave the jargon out. Clarity is key!

Deadlines and lead times: make sure you are familiar with the lead times and deadlines of the media outlet. Having to wait for the next deadline or cycle will decrease the chances of your news being published.

What other public relations pitfalls do you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comments!