Journalists and PR will forever have a loving relationship, but there is a fine line between walking hand in and hand, and not getting that double page spread you’d hoped for. While it is true that the journalists call on PR staff for many different reasons, be it for images of products, information on that latest game release or press releases on the newly announced comic book movie, when journalists do come knocking, especially with the offer of some free positive coverage for their client, they should be doing everything to make the journalists job as easy as possible. The more seamless the exchange, the more likely they are to return to you when they need to fill a page in that fashion magazine, and thats really what you want, as much exposure for your client as possible. Being reliable and efficient are two of the best possible traits you can have as a public relations executive, in the eyes of the editorial staff. So, from a journalists point of view, here are some tips that will have you both living happily ever after.
- Always reply to emails as soon as you have read them. This may seem obvious, but so many PR persons read and respond later, maybe because they can’t meet requests right away. If you can’t meet requests right away, then it is better to let them know that you are working on it. This way they are more likely to save the spot for your client without thinking they are being ignored and finding something else to fill the space.
- Always read emails thoroughly, and follow through on all questions and requests. So many times PR executives are selective in the questions or requests they answer. This wastes the journalists time, making you unreliable. It can also lead to confusion on both ends. No one likes to ask twice and it might be the deal breaker.
- Often journalist will request an image of your clients product or service to go along with a piece of editorial, and your best bet is to send a high resolution image of what they ask for, and if you want to ask them something specific or offer them other choices, do so after you send them what they have asked for. Often journalists don’t have time to pick and choose and sometimes they just need to fill a spot. Get the image in, along with a caption and price and you are more likely to get coverage, leaving the one asking all the questions at the side line.
- If a journalist or editor does request an image, offer up some editorial to go along with it. This way, you are helping them out but also you can put whatever spin you want on your client.
- Send out press releases with high res images attached. A lot of the time editorial staff store these and use them when they are stuck, or need something last minute.
- If you are sending images, make sure and caption them correctly and clearly. Labelling them with random letters and numbers means nothing to the journalist, and the vast amounts of images they receive, yours could very well get lost. Best to label them with brand name and product name, where there is no confusion.
- If you say you are going to do something, then make sure you do it in the specified time. If you let them down, and they hold a spot for you, they will remember that and possibly avoid asking you for anything again.
- A good thing to do is drop an email or give them a call to see what features are coming up. This way you can send anything in that may suit ahead of time. This isn’t necessary but it can be helpful, and it will make you look eager and willing to get stuff across. More than likely they will find a place for whatever you send and remember you for next time, while you are giving them content for their publication.
- Send press releases of anything new from any of your clients. A lot of genre magazines have news sections, be it for a new lipstick or a new sofa. Again, if they have it they may use it and they love not having to go look for things if they are pushed for time.