As a public relations intern, one of the most valuable skills to learn is pitching stories and how to form valuable relationships with reporters. Both of these skills are key ingredients of media relations.
The evolution of media appears to have changed enormously with an increase in digital, social and online-only media. According to Alan Krawitz of PR News, “some public relations and communications professionals may question whether or not the art of pitching editors, reporters, writers, and even today’s bloggers has significantly changed. The short answer is ‘Not really.’”
Just like pitching hasn’t changed, the fundamentals of forming the vital relationships with reporters and publications have not gone out of style.
Bravo’s resident media relations specialist, Jeanette Krebs, has years of journalism experience and has translated her knowledge into a successful career in public relations. At Bravo, she works with clients to develop relevant messages, garner positive editorial coverage and diffuse challenging issue through crisis communications.
Jeanette shared some of her media relations knowledge with me.
1. “One of the most important things to remember when doing media relations is that journalists – for the most part – are just trying to do their job just as PR professionals are trying to do theirs.”
2. “It is important to understand that reporters have deadlines and sometimes they need information from you quickly, not to be difficult but because they have someone telling them they need to file a story or post a piece on line right away.”
3. “When pitching a reporter, PR professionals need to first understand what the reporter covers that will help when pitching a story to them. It is never a good idea to pitch a story about healthcare only to find out that the reporter you are talking to only covers transportation issues.”
4. “Know when you need to ask a reporter for a correction or clarification. A good reporter will get both sides in a story so not everything is going to be exactly what a client may like.”