Learning the PR Mindset
December 20, 2011 Leave a comment
Launching and sustaining a public relations campaign is an ongoing process. In the PR world, you are continually refining and modifying your approach, pitches, story ideas, and media lists. If a basic pitch is working, you want to stay with it for a bit. One mistake I’ve seen companies make is that they try to continually send out new pitches and releases simply for the sake of getting new information out to the media. This mindset of continually writing press releases that aren’t newsworthy in order to keep new information flowing, is a dangerous one. Yes you want to offer the media new angles, pitches and media hooks, but you don’t want to send out new information unless it’s truly warranted.
Monitor how your media pitches and press releases are being received. If a pitch you sent out six weeks ago is gaining traction and garnering media coverage, stay with that story. Work it; develop it; use the media coverage you’re now landing to garner more media coverage. Don’t shift your focus simply because your calendar says it’s time for a new media release. Truth is that media relations is more of an art than a science (which drives most left brainers crazy). If you try to simply set up a mechanical or statistical PR gameplan and allow that to dictate the campaign, you’re in trouble
As with the media itself an effective public relations campaign is fluid. It is both proactive and reactive. If a national story breaks and you can tie your story to it, you need to be able to react, move quickly and change your approach. If, on the other hand, a pitch is working and gaining traction, you want to stay with it, work it and keep it moving. Media relations can be difficult for those who need to follow a specific course set-in-stone approach. It is an ever changing, continually evolving practice.
Begin by creating a list of objectives that you want to achieve before launching a media relations campaign. Now come up with a list of story angles and media pitches that you can use. When it comes to PR brainstorming, your goal is to create a list of the most important story ideas including: new business concepts, the unique value you offer, important information you can give, and anecdotal stories. Part of that process is to give some thought to how and why you can be presented as an expert in your overall field.
Initially you want to come up with your story ideas and media pitches, followed by your target media lists. Create specific objectives, but allow the campaign the ability to shift and change course. Developing an effective PR strategy is not unlike creating an effective sports gameplan. You develop a strategy and draw up specific plays, but you also allow yourself the ability to act and react depending on what comes at you. There is an intuitive aspect to the PR process that has to allow for action and reaction. You want to set up a specific target and gameplan, but you need to be able to shift and alter your plan as needed.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011