Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Continued: Take-Aways from @PRSADallas Comm Summit: The nitty gritty on #social media, #digital and #CSR

In my last blog post, I talked about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and community involvement. So many companies these days are touting their goodwill, so it’s important for PR pros to get creative about how they promote clients’ CSR. But, don’t forget motives matter! Always keep the Southwest vs. American analogy top of mind. Here is my second tip from PRSA Dallas Communications Summit:

Take-Away #2: Take the time to get to know your targeted media.

During Comm Summit’s morning session, I was able to participate in what PRSA Dallas calls “media roundtables.” In these media roundtables I sat face-to-face with reporters, editors and writers in the Dallas area, many of which C. Pharr pitches on a regular basis, and learned what makes them tick. I’m not sure what I thought was going to result from these candid conversations, but I did not walk away with an equation about how to reach out to mass media and guaranteed client coverage. What I learned is there is no formula, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to media relations.

Some reporters are interested in human interest stories, others want statistics and data, and others still are looking for the latest trend. The only way you can really discern what a reporter covers is to follow them, read their articles and interact with them when appropriate. More specifically, social media is an area that has really changed the game for PR pros and is allowing us to interact with media on a new level. We can follow our targeted reporters on Twitter, read their commentary via social media channels and respond to them, generating meaningful conversation and relationships.

Relationships with media are key. Once you have established your credibility and resourcefulness, many reporters and writers will add you to their “short list” of contacts when they are looking for article resources. This is the holy grail for PR pros, but it can only be achieved if you take the time to get to know your targeted media, whether it’s at the international, national or local level. Maybe surprisingly, the media actually wants to get to know PR practitioners and our clients, so it’s worth the time to do your research and learn how they want to interact with you.

My third and final tip from Comm Summit is coming up next week. Stay tuned…you’re not going to want to miss this one! (Spoiler Alert: it’s about social.)

This blog was contributed by Britney Schaeffer @baschaef.

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