Talking With the Media

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When you are working in public relations, or PR, you know that talking with the media and maintaining decent relationships with them is a huge part of ensuring your ongoing success as a business.

The problem is that there is a fine line between decent advertising and going over the line. First of all, when you make a media contact you want to make sure that you maintain a professional relationship with them. This means that you do not want to cross the invisible line and start buying them gifts in the hopes that they will provide you with a front page story. The key word is ''Communication'' not ''Bribing''. So how can you communicate properly with editors when you are in public relations jobs?

Remember that an editor needs to impress their readers, and therefore those with jobs in public relations need to provide the best material possible. This means that the copy they provide cannot be haphazard, sloppy, or any other condition that would prove to be detrimental. Remember, it is not the job of the editor to make sure that the copy is readable; the people with PR jobs are the ones responsible for this!

Is your information reliable? Jobs in public relations require that the information you pass to an editor is factual and supported by reliable sources. This isn't just for your benefit, but also for the benefit of the editor. Remember that they could get into serious trouble if they find their information is not factual. They could lose readers, or even worse, their job.

In PR jobs, it is important to know when to call, and when not to call. As you have probably guessed, editors are busy. You need to pay attention to what that editor is doing, though that doesn't mean that you should follow them, learn their work schedule, and track them to where they live. It means that you need to follow their publication and determine when the best time is to contact them. If they are busy breaking a big story, this is a terrible time to call them. Most likely they won't have time to run your story at that time anyway.

How well do you know your subject matter? Even if the editor you choose knows your subject well, you need to present yourself as an authority on the matter. By doing this you will prove that you know what you're doing and you're ready to take this all the way. Those in public relations jobs need to be able to assert themselves well, and communication with the media is one of the big reasons.

Jobs in public relations can get tough, especially when dealing with the media. As long as you follow the guidelines stated here however, you shouldn't have too hard of a time. So work hard, study your editors, and make sure that you are giving them a pitch they will be interested in. So as long as you do everything right, you shouldn't have a problem. Just remember, if an editor doesn't seem interested in what you are presenting, you need to withdraw politely instead of pushing the issue. Being polite is a huge part of this business. That said; good luck!
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