Think of the wonderful sparring partners in fiction, film and TV. Is there any better metaphor for the co-dependent relationship between reporters and PR professionals?
As the saying goes, “Can’t live with ’em. Can’t live without ’em.” One of the latest versions about the ongoing tension is the 33 Reasons listed by Jackson Wightman in Ragan’s PR Daily: 33 Things the Media Wish PR People Knew.
Whew! 33 reasons sounds like a lot of venom stored up (there are actually 44 reasons on his personal blog). And what about the twitter version of this or the “keep it short” syndrome? Read all 33 (or 44) and you’ll find that PR and the Media is less Hatfield vs. McCoy than a family feud over information.
A couple of my favorites and comments:
#39 Tough interview questions are not personal attacks. Journalists don’t usually wake up in the morning with a vendetta against a company or an organization. In media training, we share the perspective that the job and training is to be skeptical and ask challenging questions.
#30 The audience/news relevance of a story pitch needs to be spelled out clearly. This suggestion gets at the heart of a pitch – it’s about the journalist and the ultimate reader, viewer or listener. We call this the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) and WHAM (What Here Applies to Me?) factors. Make sure the pitch answers the questions.
#8 Rich Media – videos, photos – helps them understand what you’re trying to say. At CommCore we recommend that in the actual interview that you offer videos, charts and photos. Good advice to put these in the pitch. Journalists are time and budget starved. Since most media have web sites, adding the video and photos will come in handy.
Go read all the 33 or 44 and let us know what you think.