Public relations is about reputation - the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.
Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.
• The most economical way by far to reach mass audiences
• Stimulates awareness of and demand for your company products or services
• Develops a stronger, more controlled image for your organisation
• Creates the perception that the company is active, "on the move"
• Provides an advantage over competitors who do not use ‘P.R.’ effectively
Good Examples -:
Horse RidingL Charity Calendar– Received international features
RAG: Bike ride to Paris, Berlin– Received Local features
Marrow: Breaking records for sign-ups, entering awards for volunteering – Received local and regional feature.
Media Relations is about communicating with journalists, newspapers, magazines and distributors of news.
Consider Objectives and desired outcome and ask yourself what do you want to communicate? Do you want to persuade? Instruct? Inform? Promote awareness?
Why are you communicating?
Promoting an event?
Share news of an award win?
Inform your audience of an issue?
To persuade individuals to join the society?
How will you reach your audience?
- What sources do they read? Listen to or visit for information?
Is the medium right to connect with your desired audience?
Remember to create a story.
-Telephone - Direct
-Press Release – Always send with images where possible with permission from the individuals involved.
-Email, stay in contact with media connection and develop a relationship.
-Create a media contact list.
Play detective / Do your research
Researching the person you’re about to make contact with gives you so much insight in to how to structure your pitch and their style of writing. It also gives you fodder for small talk. Like a recent article they wrote? Tell them so. Don’t gush, give your point of view and have a human conversation.
Tip : Ask them if it’s a good time to chat
You may be busy, but so are they. Unless your story is truly “earth shattering”, it can wait. Journalists work in an incredibly busy environment. They have non-negotiable deadlines.
You may think you are helping them out and perhaps you are, but it’s also likely they’re on a tight deadline and won’t give you the attention you deserve.
All you need to do when they pick up the phone is ask the question “Is this a good time to chat?” You may receive a yes and you may receive a no. You may receive a very sharp no. At least you’ve asked. It’s polite and they will appreciate it.
Tip : Know your stuff
You've practiced your pitch and delivery and have secured interest. The journalist then asks you...a question..one you weren't expecting.
Make sure you have all the information at your fingertips before you are on the phone. If you don’t have an answer tell them it’s a good question and you will find out the answer. If you offer this, go and find out the answer and provide it to them in a timely manner. Don’t leave them hanging.
Tip : Read their publication
Don’t ever ask a journalist to send you a copy of a story. It’s bad form. If they offer that’s fine, but don’t ask for it. Buy it.
Tip : Meet their deadline, not yours
If you receive an enquiry or a question and promise to find an answer for a journalist do not leave it for days. Get back to them that same day. Better yet, ask them when they need it by and make sure you meet the deadline. The more you can meet their requirements, the greater your chances of having your story published and the greater your chances of them actually working with you again in the future.
Working with journalists is a two-way street and there is room for a bit of “give and take”. These simple etiquette tips will help you establish an ongoing rapport and build a working relationship that’s mutually beneficial.
Last tip, try and plan your media communications in advance, create a media calendar for more effective proactive communications.