We recently shared two links on Twitter to news stories that dealt with negative perceptions of public relations. One of the articles, in Forbes magazine, was written by a PR professional and former journalist. The other, which appeared in the BBC News Magazine, was penned by a PR executive. Both pointed out that PR – and those working in the field – can get a bad name when they try to get news coverage through publicity stunts, rather than offering real news.
Whether you’re a PR pro or someone looking to obtain media coverage for your organization, the first thing you must know is what makes news, what gets covered, etc. Business owners, nonprofit leaders and PR professionals who understand this have a leg up on the competition when media gatekeepers decide which stories to pursue.
Working with the media is really about developing credibility and trust with journalists. You do that by being accessible and honest, and by understanding the needs of journalists. They need story ideas that will appeal to their readers, and to have the information for their stories by their deadline.
Public relations itself is really about building relationships, whether it’s with reporters, members of a specific constituency, customers, or the general public.
That’s our two cents.