By Michael McKiernan, TheaterWorks
Maintaining a relationship is important. Ask any PR professional. Or my mother.
Thanks to the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Arts Innovation Day, I had the pleasure of learning from a few professionals the “Unofficial Public Relations Guide for Maintaining Relationships with the Media”. Or UPRGFMRWTM for short. Now, in no particular order…
Rule #1: Is your story newsworthy?
Believe me, I know how exciting it is that your office just added Kit Kats to the 2nd floor vending machine. I could write a whole thesis on how Kit Kat minis single handedly saved the economy but no one would read it. It’s not newsworthy (or even necessarily true). PR professionals should focus on quality over quantity in terms of storytelling.
Rule #2: Know your audience
It holds true for comedians and PR professionals alike. Target your pitches. Is your story relevant to this reporter? Are they even interested in your topic? Do your research. These are the types of questions to ask yourself (Not out loud). And don’t pitch something you can’t deliver. Relationships with the media are built on trust. Lose that trust and you risk losing your relationship.
Rule #3: Tell your story
You are your best reporter. Congrats! Give yourself a raise. Through social media we can reach thousands of dedicated followers in a single click. You write the message, choose your pics, and cut your own footage. YOU control the message. Tell your story, Alexander Hamilton.
Those are just a few tips of the trade we learned from the GHAC’s Arts Innovation Day. But there’s plenty more out there to know. What works for you? What are some strategies that allow you to tell your story? Leave a comment let me know.
Oh, and the next time your mother calls maybe take a few minutes to answer it. Consider it practice. Plus, you love her and stuff.
When Michael isn’t writing blogs on the GHAC site he can be found eating Kit Kats and listening to Hamilton at TheaterWorks, Hartford’s Contemporary Theater (shameless plug).
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