Avoiding disaster, navigating networking, and pitching like a pro – what advice would our BlueSky team have for the world of the PR professional?
“Don't cut corners on the quality of anything you write,” says Ian Hawkings, Head of our Education Practice. “Every note, email or tweet - both internal and external is a tool that can either help build, or destroy your brand.”
It’s something simple that goes a long way, but keeping your writing to the highest standard can get other people to see things the way you’d like them to. Whether that’s proposing a new idea to a client, or getting a journalist to accept your pitch.
“Research exactly which publications are interested in the news you wish to share and, more importantly, which journalists from these publications are writing about it. This does take time, but it is a worthwhile exercise. After all, it is far better to pitch to five relevant journalists than scatter your pitch to 50 journalists who are not.”
More than that, Kate Mowbray, also an Account Executive at BlueSky, says that there are already journalists who are looking for particular companies and people to feature for stories that they’re writing – find them!
This could be by doing your own research, utilising forward features and request services like ResponseSource or HARO, or even heading to Twitter to see if there are any reporters in need. The hashtag #journorequest might throw up something useful.
“Be tenacious,” Natalie Bishop, Senior Account Executive, advises. “Getting the right journalists’ attention and, even more importantly, building strong relationships is far more difficult than it looks!”
But before all of this, Chris Johnson, Account Manager, has an excellent, and simple, pearl of wisdom that makes everything much easier: “Really get to know your client – what they do, their products, their people.”
From site visits to digging through documents, getting familiar with the accounts you work on is essential.
And by setting objectives for them, Kerry Ruffle, Senior Account Manager adds, you’ll not only secure fantastic media hits, but the resulting coverage will really meet their aims and objectives.
“Effective PR measurement is a hazy area,” she says, “but taking the time to set realistic aims and objectives with your clients can not only help to guide your work, but also ensure that clients can appreciate the quality and value of the results you go on to achieve for them, helping to demonstrate the true value of PR.”
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