Media relations 101

Two weeks have gone by as an intern at Thornley Fallis Communications and I continue to learn valuable lessons.

This week’s lessons are endless. However, there is one lesson I feel compelled to share with my fellow ACPR folk.

Media relations 101: Don’t entice a journalist with “free” things

It may seem like a simple lesson. Something we probably have already heard in a class a few times. But when it comes down to it, this lesson is a hard one to follow.

As public relations professionals we are taught when pitching to journalist we must think of the audience benefit. Why do they care? Why should they come to your event? The answer can never be: because we will pay for their lunch and give them free stuff. That includes swag bags.

Journalists are supposed to represent an unbiased third party. They research both sides of a story and write an article based on facts. Giving them free stuff entises them as much as broccoli entices your dog to roll over. It doesn’t work.

Instead of trying to think of perks, evaluate your story and find what appeals to the journalist. If you can’t think of something, then maybe you are pitching to the wrong person.

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