Becoming and Remaining a Valuable Media Relations Source
A public relations professional–whether on the agency or corporate side–must learn what separates relevant news from non-news and strive at great length to keep material in the latter category out of the information stream.
Trying to pass off non-news as news is one of the biggest mistakes a PR professional can make. Your role is to build a reputation as the source for adequate, factual and timely information for your news media sources, whether they are trade or consumer.
There is also no substitute for direct and frequent contact with editors, particularly in this age of electronic messaging, where an article query can be quickly sent and an answer received in short order, depending upon your standing with the editor.
Because of the turnover and rotation of assignments in the news media, your responsibilities as a PR pro also include tracking the whereabouts of writers and editors you have come to know in your field. Many times, editors stay in the same industry, enabling you to continue the relationship if you–or they–change jobs.
Don’t discount the fact that editors, with diminishing staffs, will rely on your product and industry knowledge to develop an article fit for publication, giving your company or client added exposure. Also, with the proliferation of e-publications, there is more editorial “holes” to fill on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis, making your role as a news provider more invaluable.
The bottom line: Editors need your queries and subsequent articles just as much as you need placement for your client or company. If you develop timely, news-worthy articles written for the editor’s specific readership, then you will become a valuable media relations resource.