Dear (or rather, not-so-dear) PR industry, you're doing it wrong!
That was the takeaway from pretty much every conversation I had with journalists and editors at the recent Menell Media Exchange.
What newsrooms hate:
- media releases, especially unsolicited and poorly written media releases
- disrespect for the editorial independence journalists are tasked with
- information that they can only access by jumping through a series of time consuming hoops
What newsrooms need:
- information instead of content
- relationships with trusted sources instead of being on an ill-considered media list
- non-branded broadcast-ready multimedia content instead of text
What brand communicators can do:
- spend time and effort on building relationships, rather than just creating content (journalists are expert content creators, don't try to battle them on their own turf)
- client education to change the expectations they have of results from communication activities (contrary to client perceptions and expectations, the media does not exist to push the products and services of brands)
Can this work? Can the PR industry change its focus and habit without sacrificing profits?