In a conversation with a media professional recently, I was reminded again how important good media relations habits are for public relations professionals.
I had made a call to check on the production schedule and content requests for a consumer print publication, and to make sure the editorial staff knew I would be sending something on behalf of one of my clients for consideration. At the end of the conversation, this gentleman took to time to tell me how much it meant to him that I had taken the time to call and have a conversation. I’m paraphrasing of course, but he basically told me that because I had taken the time to keep the relationship strong, the news items I send will receive stronger consideration than those received from folks who don’t do that.
What the Experts Have to Say
Now, couple that with a similar report from a panel of experts I had the great pleasure of hearing from at a recent Akron PRSA Chapter meeting. Here were the most important messages of the day, at least to me:
- The media industry has been significantly impacted by the economy. They are all working more hours with far less staff than ever before. (So, you’re going to have to maintain some personal contact to set yourself apart, because they are overwhelmed with work and inundated with requests, so make sure you’ve got something important to share and then pick up the dang phone.)
- They receive hundreds of email every day. (So, use a simple, content-specific headline, keep the email brief and focused on the facts of interest, and then pick up the dang phone.)
- They rely upon public relations professionals now more than ever, and most consider us to be reliable sources for accurate information. (So, deliver the relevant, accurate information and then pick up the dang phone.)
- They are using social media platforms to gather information and identify sources for information because they can reach more people faster that way. (So, use your Facebook and Twitter to follow your journalists so you are poised to respond to their requests when they make them, and then, maybe still pick up the dang phone.
Note the Theme?
Fewer people with far more work and the weight of the inbox and the social media platforms means that folks are going to be much more likely to give attention to the news items you send if they know you and see you as a trusted source. We can only earn that kind of relationship if we’re keeping good media relations habits at the center of the work. Think about it!
Copyright 2010, Tracy L. Teuscher, APR, The Buzz Maker! LLC