Things to know about public relations

A public relations practitioner executes more tasks than just pitching stories. Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR, shared key factors to know about working in public relations.

“PR is more than calling the media, but clients and companies always want the article,” Tiedt said.

Public Relations needs to work on how to get the ink.

“Who holds the power? The reporters, the editors and the assignment editors. You also hold the power though,” Tiedt said. “You also hold the power with your clients and with their internal executives and decision makers at your company,”

The Public Relations Society of America says there are more than 32 practices in public relations.

Practices include public affairs, media training, speech writing, among others. Tiedt recommended students to consider exploring their career path.

Tiedt said the pitch and place of public relations is more than proactive. It is where public relations practitioners should place their story and target the right media.

An understanding of news is required.

“You never want to call a reporter, unless you have something to tell him,” Tiedt said. “It’s embarrassing and could be so painful if you really don’t have news to share with him.”

Companies and clients need to understand good news is no news.

“Conflict is newsworthy, and clients and companies don’t want to hear that, but business is usual. It really isn’t news,” Tiedt said.

Practitioners should never get discouraged when a reporter says not to a pitch.

“You can have a reporter tell you no but don’t give up the game, keep going in finding someone you can connect with, where your story will resonate,” Tiedt said.

Clients in public relations fall prey to an aired segment, or a published story will automatically bring success.

Tiedt has past experiences with customer wanting to be in Oprah, thinking the television show will bring success to the company.

“That’s not really how it works. An article does not mean that your stock market goes up,” Tiedt said. “Or if you’re non-profit, a front page article in the Statesman doesn’t mean that you’ll have more donors or money that you’ll know what to do with.”

Tiedt’s 10 Tips for PR practitioners:

  • Know comprehensive communication efforts effectively.
  • Know public relations is more than calling the media.
  • Know clients and companies always want the article.
  • Know what news is.
  • Know how to get the ink.
  • Know writing, grammar skills and AP Style.
  • Know what to do when the media calls. Get contact information.
  • Know and get involved with new social media applications. Ex: Facebook, Twitter, blogs.
  • Know public relations is not personal, just business.
  • Know to go beyond the ink, marketing your press.

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