Every award-winning PR agency understands this

Award-winning PR agency

If you’ve been working in media land for more than about three minutes then one thing will be clear. The relationship between journalists and PRs can differ wildly depending on a number of factors. But any award-winning PR agency is likely to understand how these waters are best navigated.

It’s not that the twain shall never agree, or meet. In many situations the pair can get on like a house on fire. The problem is they are both serving a similar end, but with different means. Each wants to fill a content gap, but they have different ideas as to what belongs in said space.

Here are a few things every award-winning PR agency should know about working with journalists

Understand who you are dealing with

It should go without saying emailing a freelance about a title they don’t work for isn’t going to cut it. Worse still, contacting a staff writer with the wrong publication name in the subject or opening line is tantamount to never getting anywhere. But this is child’s play (or rather child’s mistakes).

The vast majority of professional press outlets have different desks, which deal with different areas of the platform. Don’t hit features with a news story, or vice versa. Similarly, going straight to the editor isn’t necessarily going to cut it because they’re going to be swamped with various other management duties. Research who you’re approaching. Properly.

Understand what you are dealing with

On that note, if you’re looking to score a hit on a great brand story for goodness sake make sure everyone on the email distribution list is going to be interested. One of the biggest gripes journalists have with PRs is when they send them irrelevant press releases that have nothing to do with what or where they cover. An award-winning PR agency knows what relevancy really means.

Award-winning PR agency

An award-winning PR agency will understand what a story actually is

It may seem like big news in marketing, PR or— to a lesser extent— b2b press land, but more often than not it probably isn’t going to cut it for news and consumer platforms. Here’s a checklist to consider before pitching something nobody really wants:

*Is it timely or does it have a contemporaneous peg?

*If you went over to the average person at [insert situation relevant to the sector you are pitching from] and told them the story, would they care?

*Can I read about it elsewhere?

*Does it lend itself to visuals and/or video? No look-y, no like-y, as they say.

*Does it have an angle so a writer can turn it into something unique for long form coverage?

Understand when to leave it

The difference between an average and great or, better still, award-winning PR agency is understanding when to back off. A journalist with even an average profile will receive a few hundred emails each day. They can’t always respond to them all, and will almost definitely struggle to find the time to say ‘no’ to each pitch they receive that isn’t right. Less than 5% of pitches are taken forward.

Hassling and hassling, emailing and emailing, and calling and calling is only going to make it harder to score a hit with them in the future.


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