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This week at my Allen Hall Public Relations meeting, we had the opportunity to hear about media relations from the self-proclaimed “shiny new toy” PR instructor at the UO SOJC, Kathryn Kuttis. Kathryn is well-buffed in media relations, seeing as she was a vice president at Edelman in NYC for over six years. She gave us the ins and outs of the media relations world of PR and I’ve listed nine of her tips below.
Build trust with the media
- Give accurate information.
- Make sure you deliver on the stuff you said you would deliver on.
- Know what is newsworthy.
Think like a reporter
- Do research on reporters.
- Ask simple questions like “What was the last thing you wrote about?”
- Find out their beat.
- They want you to know what they cover.
Know what their audience wants to hear about
- Read their publication.
- Research their audience.
- Are they a Wallstreet Journal types or Newsweek? Finance or politics?
Be clear and concise
- Use easy to understand language.
- Practice your pitch to cut out buzzwords.
- Boil things down till they are easy to understand.
Find the newsworthy story angle
- What is newsworthy?
- What is relevant.
- Reporters want to know why I should write about it now.
Link stories to trends
- What “buckets” or trends can you put your client in? Hopefully they fill more than one.
- Things like education, obesity, urban farming, politics, and sports are all great ones.
- These trends elevate your pitch and help you approach the media through an issue.
- When giving them factsheets, give some background surrounding your issue.
- dont just pitch your stories, pitch stories about your trend.
Make the pitch
- Start with what you can give them.
- Give them a quick slice of your “story.”
- Supply them with a person to talk to for more.
- Start with phrases like “Is this a bad time?” “I saw your article last week…”
- Be polite.
- Keep your “professional fence” up.
- Build a reputation with reporters.
Kathryn gave us some great advice and insight into the world of media relations. She stressed the fact that the relationship between PR Pro and reporter is mutually beneficial and works both ways. Hopefully you learned something from her advice because I know I did. Thanks again Kathryn!
Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of working with A Family For Every Child (AFFEC), a nonprofit based out of Eugene that finds permanent families for foster children. Every November they host their largest event of the year, their Winterland Wonderland Auction. This year, they asked me and a fellow intern to create the signage for the event. It was a lot of work and pretty hectic getting ready but in the end I think everything went off without a hitch! We chose to keep the signage pretty, simple and in keeping with the winter theme. Above are a couple of the designs we created! I’m excited to see what else is in store for me at AFFEC.