At public relations firm Durée & Company, our job is to do more than share our clients’ news, manage their events and coordinate their social media. We are also relied upon to offer solid, expert advice that puts our clients in the best possible media light.
Although today’s media may seem a lot different from the media of years’ past, some things never change. And these seven pieces of advice remain just as priceless now as they were a decade ago.
Tip 1: Be an industry informant. When news breaks in your industry – be it taking care of kids or building cars – you can be an expert spokesperson if you can speak to more than just your business. Stay abreast of what is happening in your industry as a whole, and we will be able to offer your perspective to those who are just learning about your profession during that day’s news cycle.
Tip 2: Relate your product to people. Technology, new programs and expansions mean nothing if you can’t relate them to the people they affect. This also applies to special events, fundraisers and new hires. Who does this affect? Whose lives are changed because of the news? Can you put numbers or faces to your press releases? If so, media will find you irresistible.
Tip 3: Provide great visuals. This is the age of YouTube. It is the largest social media channel – not Facebook, not Twitter. People like pictures, and if they move, all the better. Learn how to take high-resolution photos, so we can immediately send them to newsrooms. Master the art of shooting the perfect 30-second video footage, so we can assist producers who are short-staffed with your news. When we help them, they will remember.
Tip 4: Be slow to call press conferences. Does your news involve blowing up a building, shutting down a government or catching a killer? Those are kind of questions we will ask you before inviting media to a press conference. This PR tool is now a rarity since it involves changing the schedules of all of the local media to revolve around your announcement. Press conferences are great if they feature a visual that will only happen once, important spokespeople who will only speak once or an event that will affect a large part of the population. If you know the difference, media will love you.
Tip 5: Know the basics. Durée & Company’s publicists will help you practice for the camera and/or the interview so you know your message, you look good and people know what to do when you’re finished. You won’t be loved if you call after the interview asking if this or that can be added, changed or deleted. You won’t be loved if you make media wait while you do your make-up or you require several takes to get your words out.
Tip 6: Always be ready. The interview that may make your day (or year) might come at 5 a.m. during a morning segment, 3:15 p.m. when you’re in a meeting, or even late at night. If you decline because it is not convenient, media will go find someone else to love.
Tip 7: Share the wealth. If you’re not the right person for the segment, but media calls you because you are so loved, then share your network. Give them other experts with data, friends with great stories or business partners who may be more abreast on a certain topic than you. A generous soul attracts gratitude. And it’s always nice to have a reporter owing you a favor.