Media relations tips: Three pet peeves from a former journalist
When it comes to media relations, the relationship between journalists and public relations professionals could be described as tenuous at best.
It’s no secret that many public relations professionals have abused the tenets of the profession and have not paved a great path for the rest of us who have meaningful stories and resources to share.
I have always found that the best way to be successful at anything, let alone media relations, is to form solid, mutually beneficial relationships.
But since media relations is really more art than science, I decided to go to the source and called upon a friend to give me some scoop.
Lauren Bishop spent 8 years at the Cincinnati Enquirer and before that 5 years at the Ithaca Journal. Lauren was a journalism superstar; that is until she leapt to the “dark side” and joined the informatics team at the Cincinnati Museum Center as Manager of Digital Engagement.
I was a little scared to ask her this question as I’ve made countless media calls in my career and I was afraid of what I might hear…
Based on your experience as a journalist, what are your top 3 pet peeves from PR people?
1. Not making an effort. It’s very clear when someone has not done the research to know what I cover. Also, I was always more inclined to respond to a personal email, rather than a blanket release.
2. Late notice. I would always regret to hear that this “really awesome thing” was happening tonight. Obviously, our newsroom had the flexibility for breaking news, but for features, we really need a head’s up – and a reminder or two never hurt either…just not a daily reminder…
3. Breaking news through your organization’s social media channels, but forgetting your news contacts. When I build a relationship with a PR person and an organization, I feel that I should have an opportunity to get the breaking news stories. It’s something to think about and coordinate appropriately.
Thanks to Lauren for these helpful insights!
One of the biggest things to remember – typically a journalist doesn’t want to take your call. If you keep that in mind, use your time in email and on the phone wisely, you’ll be fine.
Have any media relations tips to share? Burning media relations questions to ask? I would love to hear from you!
Contributed by Carrie Phillippi