The world of PR is changing at breakneck speed, with the explosion of social media meaning that everything we say and do can be reported immediately. But it is still worth bearing in mind that some of the principles of public relations remain the same in this ever-changing world. A recent ‘old style’ lunch with a journalist that I’ve known for over 20 years reminded me that we still have to adhere to three golden rules when plying our trade as professional communicators and targeting the media, whatever the channel:
- Placement: read, view or listen to the media channel where you want to place your story before you make contact with the journalist. Think about where the story fits into the overall content and demonstrate that you’ve thought about it before you make that call. It may sound obvious but that tailored approach can make all the difference to the success rate
- Preparation: remember lead times vary and take them into account. My journalist friend is still astounded that PR people expect her to cover a story next week when she writes for a monthly consumer magazine. It’s a basic rule but it shows that we understand the pressures that our target media are under and the deadlines they have to work to
- Protocol: say ‘thank you’. That way we maintain a relationship with those journalists that are key to the success of our campaigns and, after all, manners are timeless and a thank you never goes amiss.