Sunday, October 21, 2007

How to influence editors and bring joy to journalists.

Here’s a statement that has almost reached the status of glib catchphrase: ‘Advertising is what you say about yourself. PR is what others say about you’.

It’s an adage that’s meant to emphasise the role of PR as boosting reputation. But it’s often misinterpreted as ‘PR = free advertising’.

Obviously, if a journalist is convinced that your product is the greatest invention since gravity and is willing to tell the world, you have achieved an important public relations objective. The problem with news producers, however, is that they see their role as producing the news, not promoting products.

This means that if you want journalists on your side, you have to keep them happy. And newshounds are never happier than having a good juicy story to sink their teeth into.

The ideal outcome of working with the news media is for the journalist to get a great story starring you as the hero, not the villain. If you are promoting a product, launching an event or even putting across your side of the argument when someone has a grievance against you, you can vastly improve your chances of achieving this win-win situation.

Over the next few posts, I’ll be setting out twenty brass-tack principles for media relations. Follow these and journalists will appreciate the effort. Ignore them and your story will probably not make it past the shredder.

Filed under:
media relations     advertising     publicity    journalists

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