8 fundamental truths about public relations

PR pros draw on skill, expertise and experience to earn media coverage for clients, who sometimes need a reminder of how the process works. Offer these bits of wisdom.

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Some things are understood; others are not—neither by clients nor journalists. The business is changing, and so are the rules.

I operate my business transparently, so I won’t sugarcoat things or send false promises your way. So, here are eight things you might not know about public relations:

1. It’s not about sending emails. It’s about building relationships. My news media contacts don’t owe me anything, so I have to maintain good working relationships with them to do my job successfully. Luckily, I worked on that side of things for 10 years and have great relationships with people in the industry. I have seen stories turned down because the publicist was not likable, even though the client was a great fit for a story. Conversely, I have earned publicity for many clients by sending a Facebook message to a friend.

2. Media relations take time. If you want to see results fast, buy an ad. If you want to see meaningful results over time, hire a publicist. Timing is everything when it comes to earning media coverage. If it’s not in print today, that doesn’t mean it won’t be in three months. Be patient.

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