9 Media Relations Tips According to a PR Pro

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, NapInterrupted.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, NapInterrupted.

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.

Be balanced

  • 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.

Be professional

  • 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!


Social Media Advice

buttonsThe other week in our Allen Hall meeting, we were lucky enough to host Bailey Koharick, the marketing manager for Palo Alto Software. As their social media manager, Bailey knows the ins and outs of the social media world and how to make a brand successful across all platforms. She gave us some insightful advice on social media marketing and PR and I’ve listed just some of her suggestions below. So check them out and use them in your next social media plan!

Be on your toes.

  • Chose good times to post or tweet.
  • Use cultural references.
  • Be the three C’s (clear, concise and concrete).

Prove your worth.

  • Measure. Your. Efforts.
  • Use Twitter, Facebook and Twitter analytics and analytical tools. 

Quality, not quantity.

  • Don’t buy your followers.
  • Interact with your followers and other brands.
  • Make personal connections.

Keep learning and know the trends.

  • Go to webinars, read newsletters and check out other brands.
  • Be aware of brand highs and lows.
  • Do some research.

Develop a personality and be human.

  • Have a brainstorm session and create a persona for the brand.
  • You’re not a robot, have a personable voice.
  • Build relationships with followers.
  • Be friendly.

Know the rules.

  • Company values
  • Competitors.
  • Buzzwords.

And finally,

  • Be gracious.
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • Use images.

Client Relations Do’s and Don’ts

allen-hall-pr-logoThis past week, the Allen Hall team and I got some great insight from PR guru and UO professor Kelli Matthews on client relations. She’s had over 10 years of experience in the PR world, meaning, she knows her stuff. Through Facebook and Twitter, Matthews asked the PR world, “What is your best do or worst don’t for building a strong relationship with a client?” She compiled their answers along with her know-how to give us five great do’s and don’ts. I also added one of my own for the fun of it! Here they are!

1) Listen

  • Really listen to what your client needs.
  • Understand their challenges.
  • Actively listen-nod your head, repeat what they say, make eye contact.

2) Be Honest

  • If you don’t know something, that’s okay!
  • Admit when you’re unsure.
  • Don’t lie.

3) Be Interested

  • Make a point to have pre-business conversations.
  • Be personal! Where are they from? How’s their spouse doing? Do they have kids?
  • Little things like remembering their coffee order go a long way.

4) Be Proactive

  • Look for ideas.
  • Go out and find solutions.
  • Over-deliver.

5) Be Responsive

  • Answer emails within 24 hours at the latest.
  • Return phone calls even faster.
  • Never ignore the client.
  • Set up communication expectations from the beginning.
  • “Under promise, over deliver.”

And my own recommendation, 6) Just Be Nice

  • Smile! Nobody wants to look at a frowny face!
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Don’t get sassy.
  • Be grateful, they are giving you their precious time!

So that’s it, six awesome tips to really wow your client. I know I’ll be making sure I take these into consideration next time I’m with a client!