In yesterday’s post, we investigated the various pros and cons of in-house and outsourced PR for a recent company formation. Regardless of which direction you choose, the relationship between a PR and a journalist is a complex one and there are certain attributes and skills a PR person must possess if your campaign is going to be a success. Today, we will consider what to look for when you are looking to recruit a public relations professional.
Getting under the skin of your brand
That age old cliché, ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’, is completely true when it comes to PR. The person representing and pitching your brand to journalists should have a full and comprehensive understanding of all aspects of your brand, proposition and products.
According to journalist Rose Miller, there is nothing more annoying than a poorly briefed PR, “It is a waste of my time and theirs” says Miller.
Know who you’re pitching to
PR is completely based upon and functions around relationships. If managed correctly, the relationship between a journalists and a PR can be symbiotic. Managed poorly, it can have far reaching consequences for your brand.
Knowing the background and nature of the publication you are pitching to and having an idea of where the brand you are working on fits into it, will encourage the journalist to listen to your ideas and help you establish a productive relationship.
According to Miller, you should even take your research a step further and endeavour to find out about the individual journalist. What fields are they interested in? What publications have they worked on in the past? What would interest them personally about the brand you are pitching?
Select your target, aim, FIRE!
As we have previously concluded, the culture of advertising has changed; the days of mass promotion and blanket targeting are over – the consumer is now in control of the messages they see and the brands they respond to. The same changes have occurred in PR, it is no longer appropriate to sent out one press release on mass.
“Gone are the days when you could draft a release, send it round to all of your contacts and establish the level of interest within a couple of days. Now, I draft individual releases informed by my knowledge of the journalists I plan to send them to. It takes a lot longer, but the results are better and the dynamism of the industry demands it.”
Adopt an integrated approach
The digital age demands a cross media approach. A good PR will approach all Medias from broadcast and print to radio and online.
Whether you choose to keep PR activity in-house or outsource, consistent communication with your PR team is integral to the success of your campaign. As Miller concludes ‘Set the objectives for your campaign, have a working knowledge of how the will be achieved and ensure you constantly review all activity and results.”