Well, hello again, and Happy New Year! Welcome, 2009! Virtual worlds allowing us unique expression and real-time, self-controlled publishing options like this Blog give us a unique opportunity to be contributors of content. And in every media platform, content is still king. This brings us back to the basics when it comes to our role as creators and contributors of content through our most valued media sources, and how we accomplish that through effective media relations habits.
What Editors Hate Most
I read an article recently that said that the thing that editors hate the most is poor targeting. Based upon what folks tell me, I would add that the other things they hate as much as poor targeting are poor responsiveness on the part of the PR professional, and a lack of knowledge regarding the development goals and working style of the editorial staff.
Three Rules to Remember
To avoid common mistakes in media relations, experience has shown that you must focus on three main areas and work to develop purposeful habits in each area: Do your research, be a solution provider, and be an immediate responder.
1. Research each Media Source
Learn as much as you can. Make sure that you have an understanding of the content, its goals, and the readership. Learn all you can about the unique role this particular media source plays in the media landscape, and their approach to serving their readership. Gather information about the demographics of the readership, and make sure that you have something of value to share with those readers.
2. Offer a Solution
When approaching an editor or journalist, make sure you have something to offer in the form of a solution. The editor is challenged to create relevant, timely, interesting content for their unique audience on a regular basis. If you can present your story or content idea as something of interest to that audience in the littered landscape of messages, you have immediately become a solution provider for that editor, and thus simultaneously become a solution provider for the reader, as well as your company or client.
3. Be an Immediate Responder
If you are contacted by an editor or journalist with a request for additional information, images, or simply a return call or email, make sure that you respond immediately. I can’t tell you how many compliments I have received from editorial staff simply because I responded immediately to their needs. I’ve had more than a few editors tell me that their past experiences with Public Relations professionals had been colored in a negative way because of lack of responsiveness. In addition, please remember the value of a phone call. Many of us get stuck in email land. There is no replacement for personal contact. Remember, at its heart, media relations is about relationships, and it’s difficult to successfully build or maintain them when relying solely upon the computer.
If you can customize your habits in each of these areas based upon your unique situation, you will be far more likely to be successful in your media relations efforts.
Copyright 2009, Tracy L. Teuscher, APR, The Buzz Maker! LLC