These five simple refresher tips are part of the complex dance between the public relations industry, the media, and the public-at-large. These tips may sometimes be easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day workload. But if you regularly employ these basic strategies, your PR workload will be that much easier to manage–and your clients will be that much happier.
1. Organize your press contacts. Journalists change jobs, beats, phone numbers, and email addresses every day. If you can’t reach someone, how are you going to pitch them? Go through your press contacts and make sure you have the current contact information for the journalists you’ve worked with in the past, as well as those you hope to work with in the future. A simple inquiry to find out if a reporter’s contact information is current can help break the ice for a future story.
2. Strategize. If you work at a public relations agency, now is a good time to make a list of potential clients. There are companies looking for public relations help; you just need to find them. Check out venture capital news publications to see what companies have recently received funding and find out if those newly flush companies need some publicity. Meet with current clients to come up with a new or revised public relations plan for the year. If you do public relations for a particular company, now is the time to set your goals for the year. What garnered your clients good publicity last year may not necessarily work this year.
3. Remember the Basics. Those new to the world of public relations need to be reminded of the difference between being aggressive and being annoying. Case in point: once I was filling in for a reporter on maternity leave at the New York Post. This was the first time I had to work in a newsroom as opposed to writing from home. The newsroom phone rang non-stop with public relations calls. No problem: I got some good pitches. The problem was most of these calls came in the afternoon when I was on deadline and my stories were already set for the next day. Basic rules of professional courtesy should always be impressed on younger members of your staff.
4. Use the news. It’s not hard to see what issues are important to your press contacts. Use those issues to your advantage to push the public relations envelope.
5. Get on the radar. What did your client accomplish last year? If you represent a good client/company/organization, they accomplished something worth shouting about. Put out that press release touting last year’s achievement’s and pitch reporters on what the company plans to do in the coming year. Put your company on the media’s radar now so that when news happens, you won’t have to scramble to get publicity.
This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.