IDG Visits Metis to Discuss PR Best Practices

July 24, 2012

By: Mikala
As a nine-year veteran of the PR industry, I have watched the media landscape rapidly evolve. When I first started as a PR assistant, media outreach meant faxing press releases, mailing press kits and scheduling trips to New York for face-to-face interviews that were booked weeks in advance. Now I tweet news, exchange email with media contacts at all hours, and coordinate last-minute international calls between a client in Israel and a writer in Silicon Valley.
In today's digital media environment, PR pros must be adaptable. In our continued effort to keep pace with the latest trends, Metis recently invited Howard Sholkin, Bob Brown and Kristin Burnham from IDG to our office to discuss best practices for getting the media's attention (without annoying them). Some key takeaways include:
Quirky is a plus. While most media professionals, including our friends from IDG, will tell you they don't often take story ideas from pitches, they admit they're always looking for new ways to cover popular topics. The more unique your idea is, the more likely they are to write about it.
Email is good; social media is better. With a small staff and a big demand for content, media professionals don't always have time to check email. Instead, they rely on social media channels to stay informed.
Don't offer bad sources. Media professionals hate when PR pros promise them a knowledgeable source, they schedule time for a call, and then realize in about five seconds that the source can't speak to the topic. Sure, you booked the briefing, but this makes your client look bad. Not to mention, the writer is unlikely to accept future pitches if she deems you unreliable.
Writers actually like…well, writing. With such a huge demand for content, you might think writers would love for you to practically write the story for them. However, that is not always the case. Ideas are welcome, but at IDG, they still want to define a story's focus, find the right sources and craft a piece from scratch. How refreshing.
Thanks to our friends at IDG for taking the time to provide us with this great insight.

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