Just as a :30 ad is the end result of months of planning and development, with media relations, it’s similar. We may see a magazine article or a Facebook post, but few understand the work that went into getting those words or images into print, on air or online.
Media relations begins with strategic planning and on-target messaging to move the desired audience to a particular action. Before anyone starts talking, we need to build our tool box. Just as the painter relies on his palette and paints, the PR pro will sink without well written materials that draw the reader beyond the first paragraph. Among our standard tool kit materials are backgrounders, FAQs, historicals, bios, fact sheets, byliners, timelines and yes — the news release. Just as today’s artist is relying on digital cameras and editing, our team seeks to incorporate video blogs, PSAs or promo videos, photo galleries, and even Pinterest-able images.
Frida Kahlo picked up her pens and paint brushes to make her colors come to life. In the PR world, we need to pick through our personal Roladexes — or Facebook friends to give our stories airtime. Pens run dry. Pencils need sharpening. The media changes as quickly as the paint can dry.
But oh, wouldn’t it be nice if all we had to do was hit a button and miraculously our news media materials would be picked up by the media. Today’s journalist is strapped like never before. At times, one person is the only full time staffer, relying on interns and freelancers, or family members, to improve their profit margin. As the number of media outlets, spurred by the Internet, skyrockets, the staff per outlet is disappearing in a vacuum.