The account team had a media training refresher course today, followed by an in-person lunch-and-learn with a news director at a local news radio station. What was interesting to me was to see how much has remained the same, despite how much has changed in the 11 years I’ve been in the PR business.
One, it is still about relationships. Getting to know the media, what they like, what they don’t like, what stories they want to tell and hear about…this is still the most integral part of effective media relations. And the relationships need to be symbiotic and mutually respectful. Maintaining these personal relationships becomes increasingly difficult in an escalatingly digital, time-pressed world. But it is still imperative.
Timeliness is still key. The news channels have changed and evolved over the years, and new streams of information have emerged (such as social media and online-only news media). But as much as ever before—maybe more so—news media and their consumers are in a race to get news out first and best. Those who wish to work with the media need to respect and facilitate that. I don’t believe that news media yet fully understand the enormous potential of news dissemination in the online world. How could they? No one fully grasps the potential yet, as things change every day. But it’s exciting to see them embrace new ideas and constantly reinvent themselves. They have to…and they know it. Not sure they did just five years ago.