“As a public relations professional, it’s easy to get caught-up in the importance of a news release,” write Len Kendall and Dave Fleet in this blog post. “You spend hours writing it and tweaking it; the client obsesses over every word of it; it becomes the focal point of your announcement.”
They make the important point that the reality “is that the formal materials are only part of the media relations process.”
They site one’s pitch, angle, and timing as other important pieces, but explain that one’s relationship with journalists can be one of the most crucial pieces of that puzzle.
I thought this was a really important point. One of the first things one learns about the PR industry is that it is all about relationships and who you know. Yet, as Kendall and Fleet point out, we seem to get hung up on certain pieces of the media relations process while sometimes under-emphasizing others. At my internship, I know that I spent a lot more time trying to write and perfect great releases than I did taking the time to get to know the journalists who would receive those same releases.
In their blog post, Kendall and Fleet offer some great tips for developing relationships with journalists. Check out what they had to say! I think that this is one area that both PR students and PRo’s can always work on. After all, it can only lead to increased success down the road.