Prolifik Vision/Essien Agency
and maintaining positive media relationships is one of the key
factors behind effective public relations.
While most any individual has the
ability to draft a press release or to initiate contact with the
media, awareness of deadlines, pitching protocols, targeting,
and formatting are but a few of the critical factors that
distinguish PR professionals from general media inquiries. While
some rules may be basic in nature, common sense often is not
common, and adhering to general rules of thumb can go a long way
in establishing productive media relationships and securing
1. Adhere to and be conscientious of deadlines:
Nothing can be more irritating to an editor or producer than to
receive pitches while under the pressure of a tight deadline.
Media and PR professionals must understand each of the
outlets that they work with, as well as how they are structured
and their timelines.
2. Be relevant: Why is an artist's hot new hit
single being announced to a healthcare reporter? Why is a
publicist sending press releases to an undedicated media list? Why is Chicago news going to New York outlets? Bulk messages are
a quick way to get relegated to spam folders. Media members will
actually seek content from PR sources that consistently deliver
relevant and newsworthy information.
3. Speak the right language: We are in a
diverse world with various cultures and tongues, however when it
comes to media relations, each outlet has a specific style and
content preference. If you are submitting content for
television, perhaps your submission should be formatted as a
video news release. If you are submitting content to a print
publication, perhaps your submission should be an AP style
article. An effective publicist knows how to package information
so that it can easily be used.
4. Research, research, and again research: Very
few things can escape the requirement of research. Marketing,
healthcare, law, education, determining which fabric softener
gets clothes fluffier ... When creating a media list for
example, it is hardly strategic to pull every national outlet.
Which publication recently featured your client? What television
show has a demographic that aligns with your client's
demographic? Which journalist covers a topic that fits your area
5. Finally, play nice. Yes, it's kindergarten
and extremely basic, but friendliness does go a long way.
Relationships can be honed through simple courtesies like
thank you and even how is your day going (but not
during media deadlines!) Take an extra second with every encounter to
personalize the interaction and to demonstrate appreciation --
after all, so much of what we do relies upon what they do.
Arit Essien is a PR professional based in
Atlanta, GA. She is the founder of Essien Agency PR and Director
of Public Relations
for Prolifik Vision in New York City.
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