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PR Tips: “How Can I Help You?”

Five simple words, but ask any journalist or blogger and they will probably say that they are ones that make the difference between a good and a great public relations professional. Let’s be honest, life is a game, and you either play it to win or you are just on the field, which side would you rather be on? Excellent, so now that you have decided to be on the winning side let’s focus on one way to create a win-win relationship as part of your media relations efforts.

People who are winning in the public relations game, take the time to know what is important to the media outlet that they deal with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. They understand how individuals want to be approached, which could be through email, phone calls, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. To date I’ve had it all, but of course my preference is always going to be email. One very memorable moment was someone sending me a Happy Birthday message on Facebook, and then a “by the way, I have just launched xxx.” Would it have hurt them that much to at least wait 1 day to pitch me?

I recall a few years ago a PR person that I dealt with quite a bit booked a lunch meeting for the two of us, over the course of the hour or so we managed to talk about different story angles, the type of information that helps to provide value to my readers, what I’m more likely to write vs, not. That was probably the best investment that firm could have made, and it certainly set that individual apart in my mind.

I understand that everyone is under the gun and time is important to everyone, but if we are going to do this job called public relations – “Can’t we all just get along?” Maybe it isn’t always in the cards to take an hour of billable hours, but just imagine what kind of return you could get from that one hour the next time that you pitch a story to ET Canada and it is the right story, the right angle, and the exact way they want to hear the story idea?

So I challenge you, PR In Canada readers, take some time (email, Facebook, LinkedIn, phone call (personally I don’t like phone calls)) and find out what kind of stories the person you are pitching really wants from you. I bet you will start to see better results, and that create a win-win-win (you-client-media outlet) relationship.


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