Media Relations, Part Deux

An exception to the rule

I normally don’t consider myself a fan of sequels.

They often ruin the first installment’s sentiment and stretch the film into an unfortunate franchise (such as “Rocky II” or “Matrix: Reloaded”). There are exceptions the rule, but that’s not the point of this post.

Unlike their cinematic counterparts, I enjoy sequels in the blogging world. In this case, sequels offer additional room for elaboration or for exploration of a topic.

For instance, my buddy Jackson Wightman (@Jaxx09) had a great two-parter on the topic of MBA degrees and PR pros (check out the first installment and its sequel here).

Brian Solis is a fan of the sequel, and sometimes the trilogy, probably because his content is easier to digest in installments. My favorite so far is his two-part video interview series with Katie Couric.

It got me thinking–if I were to create a sequel to any of my posts, what would it be about?

Here, my friends, is the first sequel (is that an oxymoron?) on PR in Pink: Media Relations, Part Deux!

Last Fall, I discussed using a common sense approach to media relations. That sentiment still holds–reporters will appreciate it if PR pros mind their P’s and Q’s when pitching them.

Aside from common sense, there are numerous other pointers to effective media relations, and most PR folks have their own unique style of what works and what doesn’t.

Based on my professional experience, here are some additional nuggets of information I’ve picked up along the way for media relations:

Use Twitter as a media resource

Most reporters are on Twitter, as well as their publications or news stations. If you follow them, you can often receive notice when they’ve published an article or announce breaking news. It’s a great way to keep abreast of what reporters are interested in.

Another bonus: you may also see tweets where reporters ask for sources for a story which can develop into interview opportunities.

Cut out the jargon and corporate-speak

Okay, so you had to send that technical press release for your client. They pay the bills, so sometimes there’s no way around it. But when you pick up the phone to follow-up with a reporter, remember to talk like a human being.

If you’re lucky enough to get a reporter on the line, use your time on the phone wisely and speak to them as you would want to be spoken to. Don’t just rattle off the lead from the press release you already sent them. It might actually get you further with your media contact by showing your humanity. If not, it will at least demonstrate you are not a robo-pitcher.

Try a meet and greet

If you have the opportunity to do so, try to actually meet the reporter you’ve been pitching in person. If you don’t have the budget to do the “wine & dine” route, look for other opportunities. For instance, if you invite a reporter to a press conference–and they show up!–think of yourself as a party host/hostess and take a few minutes to thank them for attending.

Or if you’re at a conference or major meeting, try meeting some of the reporters in attendance. You may not want to bombard them with a pitch necessarily, but rather take the opportunity to introduce yourself and to build a better working relationship.

I have a feeling as I continue to work in PR, the media relations topic has the potential to become a full-fledged “franchise” on this blog. But that’s not a bad thing, now is it?

For all you PR pros out there, what are some of  your pointers to share? Any reporters/journos have some tips based on what works best for them?

Any sequels you are partial to?

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February 2, 2011. Tags: , , , , . media relations, public relations.

3 Comments

  1. Don Jennings replied:

    Only thing worth adding is don’t limit your interaction/conversation with any media to only what your client has to say. If you do, then you’re limiting your ability to be a resource/source of information for broader, trends and industry issues.

    • Krista replied:

      Great point, Don! I agree that it’s helpful to keep in touch with media contacts outside of the client pitch schedule, like you suggest. I sometimes drop a note to my contacts if I read something of theirs that I liked (that often has nothing to do with a client or company).

  2. Thomas replied:

    While you’re on the topic of “sequels” how about incentive or the “what’s in it for me factor?” As with movie sequels, the successful ones give you an incentive to come back for more. To engage your audience is one thing but it’s another to retain your audience and make them want to come back for more.

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