Simple Steps To Public Relations From A Journalist
Why do some PR people continue to blast out their releases to everyone in their network? Do ad agencies do that with their creative? Maybe they do and we’re just not on those SPAM lists.
Anyway, we received another “press release” from a brand today. Why, we’re not sure. We’re not a media outlet. In fact, the release was from a competitor of one of our clients! Thanks for the heads up on what you’re doing ;-).
We fully realize why brands keep PR in house. Sometimes it’s budget, often it’s because a company doesn’t see the value of a dedicated team (in house our outside help) and believes it’s ‘easy’, since the hard costs in terms of tools include a word processing program, email and phone, along with the ability to write.
And sometimes, those mass-blast emails do bring results. Great results? Not really, but they do bring results for little investment.
Regardless, PR is not easy. You may be able to get a few hits by leveraging your network or the simple mass-blast. Heck, because of the great work we did for some clients, we know journalists continue to go back to those brands for news on their own, regardless of if we’re working with them any longer. That says a lot.
But to really put together a great, results driven, strategic campaign takes some work. Megan Michelson, someone we’ve worked with more than a few times in the outdoor landscape (in addition to being an all around nice person too), made a Tumblr post a while back offering some tips for PR people. Here are some highlights and our thoughts from Megan’s post:
Totally agree. Story pitching in PR is a little like dating. No response often means not interested.
Mental note: mass PR blasts do not = exclusives. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of doing an exclusive, but when you do, it can help really get that top tier coverage.
Keep it personal. It may take longer to do this than the mass-blast BCC email, but a little extra effort can go a long way.
Look at the magazine/website/tv show before that email goes out or you grab the phone. You wouldn’t buy a boat trailer to haul your dirt bike… make sure the media you’re sending info to is the appropriate media for your brand!
Some of our favorite portfolio pieces involve the people behind the brands. Those sort of stories take real effort, but they’re worth it (and many times, our friends in the media, like Megan alludes to, enjoy working on them as well).
While the team at BBPR, or the newly launched, website in progress, Remedy Communications (http://www.remedycomm.com) is good, we’ll acknowledge that we make mistakes too and sometimes don’t follow all of the rules Megan has put out there. Sometimes we don’t have a choice, sometimes… well, stuff happens. But regardless, this is solid, strong advice for anyone who is taking on a PR role.
So, if you can, take the advice of a journalist on the other side who has had a few stories published and listen to what she’s asking for. Or just send out the mass blasts and be happy with the coverage you get. That works to some degree too.