Here are three common misperceptions I’ve encountered:
1. It’s who you know.
Not Really. Some PR professionals namedrop and brag about their media connections, but in reality, you don’t need contacts. You just need a good story. That’s not to say having strong relationships with journalists doesn’t come with benefits, however. A media relations pro who reporters trust and respect, can always pick up the phone and at least get a hearing. Having friends in the media can also be invaluable when it comes to getting feedback on story ideas, which can ultimately help shape a pitch that yields results.
2. Make it “pitch-perfect.”
A mistake in your email? Gasp!
When I first started in PR, I was trained to triple check every message before hitting send to ensure there were no typos or grammatical errors. That’s certainly an important practice when it comes to interacting with clients. But the media? Not so much.
Case in point: below is some text from an email I received from a reporter at The Wall Street Journal:
“Ok sure thatd be great thanks Andrea”
And another example, this one from a journalist at The New York Times: