Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 PR Trends That Are Always in Vogue

Be professional and be personable if you want your story to be printable.
By Susan Young

Trends come and go. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about cars, TV shows, haircuts or plug-ins. 
Public relations is no different. Elements of a strong news story rarely change. The medium and technology through which the story or message is delivered can change, but not the core of what constitutes a good story. The importance of relationships with reporters has also stood the test of time. 
With 26 years of news, PR and
here are 10 PR trends
that are always in style.  
1. Thank the reporter for listening. Even if they are rude or rushed, say thank you. Chances are you’ll have to reach out to them again. Remember, you don’t know what you may have interrupted on their side. If you saw all the irrelevant and lousy pitches reporters get hit with day after day, you’d want to stick a fork in your eye. 
2. Know your pitch inside and out. If you’re not fully prepared to answer minutiae questions about your story, and all the elements it encompasses, you’re not ready to pitch it. Keep doing your homework. 
3. Communicate a succinct message. Whether it’s a voicemail, e-mail pitch, Tweet or press release, make your point with the fewest words or characters possible. Oh, you’ll have to be compelling and punchy, too. Choose every single word with absolute care. Perfect your writing skills. Consider yourself a wordsmith.
4. Find the human factor. Statistics are powerful, but the emotional connection we experience as human beings is key to any good story. News is about people, and people love great stories.
5. Respect the clock. Deadlines are gospel in newsrooms. Avoid reaching out to daily print reporters late in the afternoons. Don’t call TV assignment desks and radio newsrooms as they are preparing to go on the air (top of the hour).
6Love your story. It doesn’t matter if you’re pitching a novice blogger or CNN. If you don’t love your story, they won’t either. 
7. Build rapport with them. Reporters and news decision makers are people, too. In fact, they were people before they began working in news and social media. Don’t ask for favors and help all the time; ask how you can be of assistance to them with resources, a fresh angle or interview. Give more than you take.    
8. Offer an exclusive. Everyone likes to feel special.
9. Deliver what you promise. Whether it’s details to follow-up your lead in a press release, or sticking to the interview you’ve arranged, keep your word. 
10Make yourself available. From black, clunky rotary phones that were attached to the wall to mobile phones with snappy apps and ringtones, the news does not exist in the 9–5 vacuum. When reporters reach out to you, it’s all about them.  
Let me know if I missed something.
Susan Young is President of Get in Front Communications, Inc. She's a news, PR, and communications expert who works with organizations to increase their publicity, credibility, and revenues. Susan also works with people who want to improve their communication skills and self-confidence.