I have written these guidelines based purely on my practical experience. One may not find this in text books but, I strongly felt this will help some of the professionals who have just entered the growing world of Public Relations. I have looked at this piece with tips for young PR professionals especially when it came to new business pitches on the one hand and on the other hand I have also viewed it as to how a PR professional will be able to build one’s confidence with their clients.
When it comes to pitching for a new business most PR executives like conducting media audits. They randomly call the journalists to get some perception or insights for the pitch. Most often these audits are done at the last minute and the journalist gets irked when he or she is contacted. One needs to understand that these audits will not give any great insights as invariably the sample size is very low.
Don’t expect any traction out of press releases. Press release has become outdated and old fashioned. The inboxes of most journalists are always flooded with millions of releases across the country and they invariably miss their eyes as they have other priorities to attend to. Instead one need to be smart and find out is there a good angle to pitch it as a good story and get published. Set your clients expectations on press release as most clients still expect high hits on press releases in both online and print.
Related: Public Relations Myths Busted
Please give the journalists his space. It has become a habit with most of them to keep calling the journalist after one sends some press note or a press release. Let us understand and respect the journalist as they have lot of other things to do and hence it is important to do your follow up in the most understanding and interesting manner by not straining one’s relationship
Never drop a journalist’s name during new business pitches. Some professional’s like to demonstrate their media relationship strengths in the meeting by dropping the name but at times one does not realize the correctness of the name and publication and the next thing you get to know is that he or she has moved from the publication. Thus, cutting a sorry figure. Also, some clients quiz the agency at times to know the agency’s strength on media relations. So, it is better to avoid mentioning any names from the media.
Avoid outsourcing for authored or placed articles. As a public relation professional, the onus lies with the person handling the account to write this as he or she has deeper understanding of the brand. The outsourcing can help you in the short run but in the long run your writing and thinking skills count a lot to build your career in this profession. And your client will repose more faith on you once you are able to churn out content and add value to their business.
This piece on Tips for Young PR Professionals is contributed by:
– Ganapathy Vishwanathan
Ganapathy Viswanathan comes with over 3 decades of industry experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations & Digital Marketing. He has worked in diverse disciplines with several multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy, Lowe and Mudra Group. On the Public Relations front, he was the General Manager Western region of 20:20 MSL, where he spearheaded the western region operations. In his last Senior role he was the Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Communication at Eureka Mobile Advertising a mobile engagement company in India head quartered in UK.