Will Old Fashioned Media Relations Ever Return?

Among HMA Public Relations’ areas of expertise over our 40+-year history has been – and continues to be – media relations.

During a recent webinar hosted by Agility PR Solutions, there were some interesting insights shared by the panel about this staple of the PR industry.

David Landis, president of Landis Communications, our Public Relations Global Network partner in San Francisco, said COVID has taught us how important personal interaction is.

Since many still won’t have in-person meetings, Landis noted how significant it is these days for media relations pros to call reporters, establish relationships and have real conversations with them to get an understanding of them as a journalist and as a person.

“This is the time to find common ground,” Landis said.

Sarah Tourville, CEO of Media Frenzy Global, added an interesting point in regard to media relations.

“Using the word ‘pitch’ means you don’t know the reporter,” she said.  “Suggesting stories should be a part of normal conversations with journalists.”

She also emphasized the importance of engaging with journalists on their social media platforms.

Anthony LaFauce, a principal at Clyde Group and a professor at American University, talked about how artificial intelligence is creeping into media relations.

I’m too old school (for now) to totally embrace this, but it’s here.

LaFauce explained how PR pros can now research the top 10 or 20 words a reporter has used in recent articles or associate a certain group of key words to a particular journalist, to know what they may best respond to.

“This information can be fed back into AI to create a more effective pitch,” he said.

There is a common thread for all of this:  whatever tools are being used, if we are staying in touch and know what journalists care about, we are doing our job when it comes to media relations.

Written by
at Mar 19, 2021

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