1. Develop a great story. This is crucial. If you don’t have anything interesting for the media, why would they care? The key is to identify the story idea, flush out the specifics and give it some personality and flavor to make it appetizing for the media.
2. Pick the right tools to communicate your story pitch. Everyone needs a news release but many other tools will help sell your story to the media. Think about a video, an infographic, a white paper or some internal research that elevates your pitch and helps you stand out from the crowd. Think visually. Graphics work well with today’s audience.
3. Spend time researching your targeted media. Analyze your targeted publications or TV stations in advance of your pitch. Determine if they run stories similar to those you are considering for publicity. For example, business stories are difficult to sell to a consumer related publication. Highly scientific articles might work for an industry trade journal but usually won’t fly with a local newspaper. Read and watch and see if you story idea makes sense for the media you are targeting.
4. Write clearly and to the point. Communicating your pitch in a news release or email takes some practice and finesse. This calls for simple, concise but interesting sentences. Busy journalists don’t have time to read elongated pitches and multi-page releases. Write in a style that sells your story or find someone who can.
5. Focus on a great email headline. Most communication with the media is done by email, and you need to make your subject line interesting so it stands out from the crowd. Instead of “New business set to open in Osage County” make it “New business will add 50 jobs to Osage County and feature new products and services never before offered in the area. Mayor and local officials excited in anticipation of the opening.”
6. Give your article “tentacles” to continually build on the story. You can gain additional media coverage from one story by leveraging it for another. When one of our clients was on the NBC Nightly News we contacted the local newspaper and told them about it. They had a local gossip type column and ran a story that our client was on network television. This was a good way to reinforce the story and give the client additional brand recognition in the local market they serve.
7. Amplify your news on social media. Reach your customers directly and thousands more by sending out your article or TV story on social media. You can link it to your corporate or personal sites. In many cases your followers and friends may like it and re-post it. This way you generate thousands of more views with just a little effort.
Technical skills are indispensable to the hardware of any job. In a Public Relations firm, soft skills are just as central to PR executives who work in a people-centric environment. The PR industry is founded on the ability to establish trusting relationships with clients and the public. We share three essential skills to navigate work in PR.
Often swarmed with multiple tasks demanding the same amount of commitment, PR practitioners must possess the vital skill of multi-tasking. Not only that, PR specialists have to attend to journalists, clients, and the media and be ready to circle back to their work with information quickly and effectively. From initiating a new campaign to pitching to the media, PR agencies steadily juggle multiple projects and clients simultaneously. While certain urgent situations arise that warrant immediate attention, follow through your current task and complete it before switching your focus to another task. Such systematic multitasking decreases the tendency to be distracted and boosts concentration and efficiency.
Manage Your Time
A typical day at a PR firm starts with a slew of emails, the crafting of press releases and articles and weekly meetings with the team. With the limited amount of time on hand, there has to be an efficient way to prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines. Making a to-do list organises tasks in an orderly fashion according to their importance or urgency, which saves time in the long run. Just as important is following up with your deadlines to keep a handle of any responsibilities by checking with those who are helping you to accomplish a task. Furthermore, a missed deadline translates into a snowball effect where work piles up and decreases productivity. Time management does wonders to the level of productivity in a PR agency.
Despite having tons of tasks to settle every day, a PR specialist has to be adequately meticulous. Today, digital communication has put brands under the microscope, necessitating conscientious communication to the media and the public due to the sensitivity of public sentiment. After all, building strong relationships starts with quality communication that requires careful planning to bridge information transmission gaps that builds on strong
These soft skills play a critical role in the work of PR practitioners due to their competitive and fast-paced work environment. Public Relations agencies with practitioners equipped with soft skills are able to deliver returns on clients’ investment.
Public Relations and the media industry share a relationship that is complex and in a way, interdependent.
PR and the Media
On the other hand, the media look to PR to receive interesting stories. With the media industry getting bigger and the newspapers and publications becoming thicker, the media relies on the PR industry to fill its pages with exciting news.
The basis of building a strong media relationship is research. PR practitioners need to understand the needs of their clients and communicate with the right media who can deliver it successfully.
The strength of PR lies in finding the most interesting and compelling stories of the company and using effective narrative skills to spread a positive outlook about the company. PR practitioners must be constantly aware of the breaking news and latest topics. They must somehow try to connect the client’s message with the news to turn them into a compelling and engaging story. For example, if the upcoming month is dedicated to cancer awareness, you can let one of the doctors from your hospital participate on a national talk show.
Once the PR has newsworthy stories, the next step is to contact the relevant broadcasters and journalists.
Relationship with the Media
Finding the right person who will be interested in your story is crucial. Else, you’ll be knocking on the wrong person’s door and wasting all your effort and time.
An effective pitch is the first step of contact with the media. If your pitch is valuable, it can be the start of a strong relationship with the media. So, make sure you contact the correct individual and with the information that they would want to work with.
Once the initial communication is made, it is important to put in a continuous effort to strengthen the ties with the media.
PR and the Internet
In the past few years, PR is constantly aware of the power of the internet. With conversations happening in the social media every second, it is important for the PR industry to monitor what is being said about their clients in the internet sphere.
The Internet is ruled by bloggers, online broadcasters, relevant sites and influencers. It is crucial for the PR industry to maintain a cordial relationship with these parties. Through the internet medium, PR can spread their message through viral marketing.
Unlike the traditional media, the Internet is in a way a two-way communication channel. When a PR practitioner uses the internet to dispatch articles and blogs, they must respond quickly to the audience’s feedback, comments and views.
There are some people who feel that press releases don’t have as much weight as they had before. While there are some people who misuse them, when written properly, the releases still have a great impact on helping you to generate buzz about your products and brands. To help you out, here are the features that you should ensure that your release has for it to give you the desired results:
It should be newsworthy
If you look around you will find plenty of people penning news unworthy releases. For you to be successful, you should ensure that your release has something worth mentioning. This could be abnormal profits, an introduction of a new product or anything else. As rule of thumb, you should never write a release that isn’t adding new information to the people.
It should be informational
Originally, people used press releases to popularize their brands. You won’t go anywhere when you do this. The press release that you put down should be informative. If you have introduced a new product, you should tell people more about the product and not about your company. You should talk about the facts and statistics about the product for the journalists to pick it up and publish or distribute it.
It should be timely
Your press release won’t have the ideal impact if you release it at the wrong time. Experts recommend that you send the release during the productive hours of the day. This should be before 10:00 am. You should be cautious of the day that you send it out. As rule of thumb, you should send it on Tuesday or Wednesday. Never send it on Monday, Friday or during the weekends as few or no people will read it during this time.
It should be easy to read
No one is going to read your press release if it’s written in hard-to-read language. Also, no one is going to read or even share it if it’s not beautifully formatted. Your release should be written in an easy language. It also should be professionally formatted so that people have an easy time navigating through.
Press releases are still effective and impactful when you write and distribute them properly. If you don’t have the skills to do it right, you should hire a professional to help you out. The professionals will write the releases for you and even distribute them on your behalf.