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Posts Tagged ‘Media relations’

5 Things to Know to Charm Your Clients

hug client

If not, that next call could be a bad one. 

There’s the ubiquitous mantra “The customer is always right.” If you have spent any time in PR, you know this is not always the case. However, it doesn’t matter if you want to keep them happy — or is it?

Understanding the magic formula how to work well with clients and play in their sandbox is nowhere near scientific. It’s all about art of grace under fire, peace under stress, and results under (sometimes senseless) deadlines.

Therefore, we are proud to bring to you another 5 things: What to know to charm your clients. Enjoy.  Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Be Aware of These 5 Common PR Mistakes

pr mistakes

We know. It’s a crap shoot.

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but a recent discussion with a reporter chum of mine reminded me of this one irrefutable truth in the public relations industry — the easy stuff is always the first stuff to screw up. The mistakes, albeit as common as they exist, are committed on every level of the food chain. From intern to inside the corner office, everyone is susceptible to having these aberrations with the press and our clients.

Yet, there they are, scattered bodies lining the streets like a deleted scene from “The Walking Dead.” In an effort to inhibit the PR ninjas in this industry jumping from trees and throwing star shurikens with dazzling accuracy into pools of heaping crap, here are five common mistakes in PR of which to always be aware to avoid.

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5 Secrets Every PR Pro Should Know About Reporters

old reporter guy

For starters, they don’t all look like this because technicolor is a thing.

In the fabled world of public relations, it amazes — well, really, disheartens — me how few flacks take time to get to know reporters. Forget the national ones who are on everyone’s bucket list. I’m talking the general assignment reporter in their own backyard.

These are the people that can make or break your effectiveness as a PR professional and not once is there an attempt to humanize these folks. I should know. As I have shared a few times in this blog, I’m a proud hack-turned-flack. I have good friends in the media, and I suppose that is why I can understand the jitters when pitching a reporter who answers the phone (intentionally) like a brash horse’s patoot, “NEWS!”

For that, I offer this list for you: 5 secrets every PR pro should know about reporters. Enjoy and share with your team.

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STUDY: Media, Tech and Entertainment Fields Still Dominated by Men

shutterstock_94006795

Some things, unfortunately, do not change

Well, this one’s a bit of a downer: despite all the news of women making progress in the corporate world and the rise of women in leadership positions within the public relations industry, the media that covers all this business remains a field overwhelmingly dominated by men. Ditto for tech and entertainment.

The Status of Women in the U.S. Media“, the latest study conducted by the Women’s Media Center, didn’t just find that most syndicated columnists happen to be of the male gender. We have more disturbing stats for you!

  • Men are quoted three times as often as women as “experts” in front-page New York Times stories
  • The percentage of female staffers in newsrooms (~36%) hasn’t changed since 1999

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When Do Tech Updates and ‘Product’ Launches Deserve Their Own Press Events?

Good question.

You’ve probably already noticed that Facebook got plenty of media attention and a nice big stock bounce after timing the “Paper” announcement to coincide with its impressive Q4 earnings report. But as a certain friend of the site said, Zuckerberg could score headlines for installing new urinals in his office.

Facebook is not quite like any other brand, and of course events ultimately serve to impress multiple parties: journalists, stakeholders, advertisers and—indirectly—the general public.

The question: when is an announcement from an established tech company important enough to justify its own press event? Did Instagram Direct really deserve a “share a moment” night?

10 More Things PR Professionals ‘Love’

lucy-prLast week, our fearless editor (which, BTW, is no longer this guy…update your Rolodex, peeps) brought to you “Ad Folks Hate Ads but Love Whiskey and Porn. What does PR Love.” Of course, some were good and others delved into the snarky. (Even better.)

That got the rest of us PR Newser / Mediabistro minions thinking, “What else do we love?” 

The list could be long and entertaining. You know, similar to the famed scroll of papyrus debuted by the great George Carlin and his list of the best dirty words ever. Patrick’s less noted list included items PR professionals love and “love,” such as:

  • Obsessing over journalists and their fascinating lives re-writing our clients’ press releases
  • Scrolling through our inboxes for any stray press releases: Delete. Delete. Block. Delete…
  • Watching other people’s clients being interviewed…so we can make fun of their terrible outfits
  • Posing for pictures at events…so we can delete them from our Facebook walls the next day
  • White wine or mimosas in the afternoon, because we’re still totally working

So, we have finely crafted a list of the top 10 other things PR peeps love. Enjoy, share and count how many are your faves:

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Woodward-Gate: Flack ‘Threatens’ Hack, Internet Explodes

All the President's MenHave you been following the latest, dumbest political media scandal? We hope you answered “no”, because this one is a real doozy. It’s a classic case of “hack” vs. “flack” that will feel very familiar to anyone who has spent some time in PR or journalism.

To summarize: Bob Woodward, the veteran reporter who was one-half of the team that exposed the Watergate scandal leading to Richard Nixon’s resignation, had a mildly testy exchange with a White House rep over the pending “sequester” drama. Essentially, if the two parties can’t agree on a mix of new revenue and spending cuts, a big rash of cuts that they set up last year precisely to avoid this sort of showdown will go into effect. It’s basically President Obama versus the House of Representatives, so…politics as usual.

Alright, now what’s the “controversy”–and how does it relate to PR? Glad you asked!

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More Tips for Pitching to Journalists

Today the always-excellent Muck Rack features a guest blog post from Gelberg Communications founder Jon Gelberg on a question that will challenge PR professionals until the end of time: What’s the most effective way to pitch stories to journalists and bloggers?

As Gelberg’s headline implies, the act of pitching is really more of “a seduction”. His piece points out some of the obvious challenges inherent in the pitching process and proposes a few common-sense solutions–but this is a topic that’s always worth revisiting, so we’ll summarize.

What not to do:

  • Send impersonal mass emails (Yes! We get these all the time–and 99% of them go straight in the trash.)
  • Fail to engage with your media contacts like they are real-world humans (small touches matter)
  • Fail to follow up with the outlets that run your stories (a simple “thanks” can do wonders for media relationships)
  • A point of our own: refrain from making phone calls and leaving voicemails except as a last resort. A Reuters journalist recently said, “My biggest pet peeve is PR people who are relentless on the phone”–and we couldn’t agree more.

Keys to success:

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Impact of ‘USA Today’ Changes on Media Plans

Recently, USA Today announced big changes – a massive round of layoffs (130 staff members) and a bigger focus on digital including content for the iPad.

USA Today has always been a top target for media relations outreach because of its large nationwide audience and the wide range of topics covered in its pages. But as the world has gone digital and audiences fragment, the newspaper has seen its circulation numbers drop.

PRNewser asked a couple of PR pros for their thoughts on the planned changes. More after the jump. Read more

Pitching Mashable

With nine million unique visitors each month, Mashable has become a must-read for those interested in technology and innovation on the Web. The latest “Profit from your Passion” feature from mediabistro.com, “How to Pitch for PR: Mashable,” offers tips and information for those PR pros who have a story that they’d like to pitch to the Mashable editorial staff.

Click here to read more.