During a recently long and exhausting homework session, I took my usual YouTube study break. I came across this funny and enlightening video about the rocky relationship between PR and Journalism.
The PR vs. Journalism: MAC vs. PC Spoof was created for the Public Relations Students Society of America ‘s(PRSSA) National Capital Chapter’s 2007 Annual Thoth Awards Gala. Public Relations and Journalism go through a counseling session where the counselor comes to the conclusion that the two parties are soul mates. Like Ying and Yang, they are meant to be together.
The counselor made a good point the two are meant to be together because they both work to inform the public. PR practitioners need Journalists because the media is the largest outlet to inform the public about their clients. With newsroom cuts and the increasing speed of technology, journalists have twice the workload and less time to research and in-depth reporting. Therefore,journalists turn to PR practitioners for story pitches, press releases, and quick answers to their questions.
Although PR and Journalism need each other somewhere down the line the relationship went sour but like any other relationship there is room for change and growth. Here are some tips on building media relations.
- Write a strong news release
If you do not have a strong and well-written news release, journalists will not want to work with you. Follow the style of writing that journalists use. The AP Stylebook is a great reference when writing a news release.
- Make yourself available
When journalists are looking for information they want it quickly. Respond as quickly as possible and never leave a question unanswered. If you cannot respond quickly enough, take the time to call or email the reason.
- Learn what their needs are
Journalists do not like “PR spam”, which are stories that are not relevant to the work that they do. You cannot send a pitch about a charity fashion show to an Arts reporter. Networking with journalists figuring out their needs and how you can help them is a beneficial way at building a positive relationship.
- Do not make promises you cannot keep
Only promise to do your absolute best to get them what they need as quickly as possible and always follow through. If you cannot follow through let them know as early as possible.
- Marise Montrose, Junior, Account Executive of Recruitment