You have forgotten how to talk on the phone. This is clearly dying art. Most of us use our phones for the internet, Instagram, and texting these days pretty much forgetting how to use our voices to communicate and the art of conversation. A good conversation starts with a give and take. Remember to leave space in your answering for the interviewer to respond and ask you questions. Think of it as verbal ping-pong, not a tetherball game.
You only read headline deep. Research the company you are applying to and read more than just the headlines or most recent article. Spend that extra 10-15 minutes when you would usually stalk reports on twitter to dig a little deeper and learn.
Who you know gets you in the door, what you know closes the deal. As someone who has done A LOT of interviews, there is nothing worse than talking to a candidate who was recommended by someone and then realizing the candidate isn't prepared and was relying on the relationship alone to get the gig. Pretty much 10/10 times I will talk to someone who comes personally recommended, but that is as far as the courtesy extends. To actually get hired you must know how to do the job, and prepare for the interview. So, use your connections but also come ready to demonstrate your value on your own.
"This job would be great for me." Ah, millennials. I love you all, I really do. I am in fact technically one of you, but this is the biggest party foul on an interview. It might be true that the job you are applying for is a great opportunity for your career and will help you learn and give you new skills, but that is NOT the reason I want to hire you. I want to hire you because you bring a lot of value to the table for the team and for the company. So, when I ask you about why you want the job, try answering with something more like "It is an incredible brand I really respect and I would love to be a part of the team. My background as a publicist and my reporter relationships would be a serious value-add to the impressive mix you already have."
NO THANK YOU NOTE. You are a publicist and part of your job hinges on your ability to follow up and follow through. If you don't send a thank you note, at least by email, after having a conversation or interaction with me, it is a BIG red flag. That thank you note doesn't have to be the most original piece of prose in the world, but it is a small example of what you'll be like when representing my brand and I am looking for it.
2018 is your year.