Five media relations tips for when reporters call

Here’s a new twist on the expression, “You can’t really know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes,” and it goes like this: “You can’t really know a reporter’s frustration until you’ve tried in vain to reach multiple media relations people while on deadline.” I’ve recently walked that mile and it triggered unpleasant flashbacks.

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I cut my teeth as a reporter before  transitioning to corporate communications more than 15 years ago. I loved being a reporter. It was hard, but rewarding work. However, the thing I categorically hated about that job was dealing with public relations and media relations people. Too many were condescending, acting as if their organizations were entitled to coverage in our paper. It made an impression on me, and shaped the way I responded to journalists when I became a media relations manager. Continue Reading

Media and public relations that work

Every organization wants positive exposure through traditional and social media, and it is possible even for small businesses. Here’s the key: Embrace the “relations” part of media relations and public relations. Build relationships and¬†your organization will land more exposure in various news outlets and among key bloggers who cover your industry. It really is that simple.

The word “relations” implies the profession is build upon relationships. However, along the way the relationship part with reporters seemed to sour as an increased number of public relations practitioners blasted poorly crafted press releases at journalists. They labeled us “flacks.” The term can be accurate. Continue Reading