Becoming Familiar With Various Media Outlets

I found a blog written by a PR student at the University of Oregon and I thought it brought up a valuable point, one that I am often guilty of.  That article is called Naming Your Media and it points out the fact, that as PR professionals it is our job to thoroughly familiarize ourselves with various media outlets.  The article pokes fun at Sarah Palin and her interview with Katie Couric, when she was not able to name the media that she follows.  I think that we can learn from Palin and not make the mistake of embarrassing ourselves in our professional jobs.  The article also makes an important point, that in order to make our pitches effective, we must know media inside and out.  This means doing the research and most importantly building relationships!

Clearly, media relations is a very important part of our professional skills.  If we are not consumers of media, then how do we expect our target stakeholders to be.  I know that it is hard with our busy schedules, but it is very important that we are familiar with newspapers, magazines and television and radio shows both on the national and local level.

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9 Responses to Becoming Familiar With Various Media Outlets

  1. cate415 says:

    I think that being a consumer of media is one of the single most important things to do as a public relations professional. If we do not familiarize ourselves with what is going on in the media world, which includes new social media outlets as well as different types of news, we will not be able to effectively understand the needs of our clients. Allowing ourselves to be consumers of media enables us to have a full understanding on the world around us, which is of prime importance in a field such as public relations.

  2. letsgoblogging says:

    As a PR professional, being a consumer of the media is kind of like the saying “you are what you eat.” It is really important to know the media inside and out; to really become a part of it. Having internships in both newsrooms and PR agencies, I feel I have learned a lot when it comes to this topic. It is invaluable to not only know the media outlets, but the specific reporters you are pitching to as well. Familiarize yourself with the specific beats and establish proactive relationships with these reporters. It is also really important to note, that reporters get bogged down with pitches each day, so in order to make yours stand out, you need to get to the point but still give all the details and always remember to find the story don’t just pitch your client so that they get face in the newspapers.

  3. kakeane says:

    I agree that pitches to reporters must contain a story, or something newsworthy. Just getting the client’s name out isn’t enough in this case. Profiles are only interesting on companies or organizations that are entering the market, or that have done something noteworthy. While your clients may be happy with just seeing their name, they will be more impressed by coverage of new initiatives and campaigns that will benefit both the community (and stakeholders) as well as the company.

  4. ccharvey says:

    This is a very important aspect of the journalism field. If you don’t know what types of recurring sections of magazines or newspapers, you might miss out on a valuable opportunity for your client. Also just having a contact person at a certain publication isn’t enough to get your foot in the door. Especially if you are pitching something the writer repeatedly writes against or something that is not right for the publication. Without some sort of relationship and background, you are wasting the time of everyone.

  5. bkranz says:

    I’m probably guilty of not following enough news sources but I definitely think it’s important. In the past few years, many media outlets I never knew existed have emerged and changed the face of the way we see news. The internet is a world of it’s own, one where anyone can find anything in a matter of minutes. It’s fascinating. Newspapers, radio and television broadcasts have always been very important outlets, but I think in this day and age, we need to consider other options. As PR practitioners, the internet is our friend. Many believe it’s our foe, but when you really think about it, the quickest way to retrieve information isn’t waiting for the 5 o’clock news or for the morning paper to come out, it’s getting on your computer, typing a few things and finding what you wanted.

  6. knish21087 says:

    It’s true that as PR practitioners we should not only continuously consume media, but we should also know exactly where we are getting our information from to be credible. When Sarah Palin was not able to answer the simple question of what she reads to keep up with the media she did not seem very credible. There are already so many distorted views of PR. Many people consider us spin doctors or in extreme cases even liars. We already have our work cut out for us as PR practitioners to maintain a professional image. Life would be a whole lot easier by simply keeping up with the media and knowing your sources and contacts really well.

  7. ambrewe1 says:

    When I first decided I wanted to go into the field of journalism, then later on PR, I was always told by my professors to read the newspaper and familiarize myself with the world around me. I would roll my eyes and saw it as extra work. I, from personal experience, found it embarrassing when I tod people I’m going into journalism but wasn’t able to throw in my input when Darfur or the war was brought up in conversations. I was in a bubble. As letsgetblogging says, “you are what you eat,” and I have learned that to succeed in this field I need to consume news, media outlets and other sources that allow me to know what’s going on around me and to compete effectively in this career.

  8. mara2009 says:

    Being a good PR professional includes knowing which media and reporters cover your client’s industry. I learned this in my first PR internship. Some of the reasons PR practitioners track clips is to see what has already been reported about their client and its industry and to generate new story ideas. Luckily for me, I’ve always loved news and am addicted to NPR.

  9. marialinda17 says:

    I’ve always followed the news since I was a small child, but many Americans don’t understand the importance of staying updated with media. And now that I’m studying PR it’s more important than ever. You can’t master your craft or gain a better understanding of the ever-changing industry without exploring new media. It’s definitely vital to make the effort to be aware.

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