How to Stay on a Reporter’s Nice List

We’ve written plenty of times about the importance of maintaining good media relationships. In light of the holiday season, here are a few ways to stay on the media’s nice list as opposed to the naughty list.

How to Stay on a Reporter's Nice List

    • Respond quickly and accurately. Time is of the essence. If you’re not sure of an answer, double check and let the reporter know you’ll get back to them.
    • Be respectful of deadlines. Don’t bother them when they’re on one.
    • Stick to your word. Always follow through with what you say you’ll do and send.
    • Stay truthful. Getting caught in a lie ruins any relationship.
    • Give instead of receive. Don’t be selfish in thinking that a reporter should write about everything for you without anything in return. Offer them an exclusive or an interview if you can.
    • Don’t be spiteful or rude. If the story from a reporter doesn’t come out as planned, remember it’s editorial and you can never fully control a story. The reporter is just doing his/her job. Don’t take it personal and give attitude in return.
    • Show you’re grateful. Letting them know how much you appreciate their feedback or support by sending a little something (product from around the office, etc.) goes a long way.
    • Send a thank you. An old fashioned note in the mail is much better than an email. Or a nice holiday card.
    • Don’t be pushy. If you ask them for something and they don’t send the first time, don’t ask again. Being that annoying PR pro is a sure way to the naughty list.

How have you stayed on a reporter’s nice list?

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For the Holiday Hostess

We are in prime holiday party season. Over the next two weeks, I have too many parties and social gatherings to count. I’m popping multi-vitamins and B12 like it’s my second job as well – just so I can stay engaged and awake during many back-to-back occasions in the chilling NYC weather.

Cheers! Holiday party season is here.

And if I’m feeling the holiday stress just as a guest, we can only imagine what our holiday hostesses feel. The worst thing you can do is be a grinchy guest – everyone has worked so hard to be sure you feel welcome and cozy in their home. Here are a few guest guidelines for attending your holiday parties over the coming weeks.

Send a quick note prior to the party – See if you can help in anyway. Is she going to be rushed to make dessert? Offer to bring cookies from her favorite bakery

Bring the bubbly – I bring champagne or wine to almost every shindig during the holidays. It’s time to celebrate! Why not bring the champs?

Help mix it up – If you’re a guest’s guest, this can be a little intimidating. But the hostess needs help making people mingle. Step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to some new people

Watch the drink count – Unless this is your first college Christmas, watch how many vinos you are throwing back. This is ESPECIALLY  true at work parties. No one wants to hear about the guy you hooked up with at Brother Jimmy’s who never called you back. Five thousand times

If you are the last to leave, offer to help clean – She may say no, but the thought is very much appreciated

Send a thank you note – Handwritten is nice, but even a text or Facebook post is thoughtful. Even if it was a 100 person rager, leave a nice note saying you had a great time

 

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From the Inbox: Getting My Feet Wet

Hi M & A,

I absolutely love your website, and I have a bit of a PR newbie question!

I’ve been completely blessed and landed a great internship with a large PR agency after college that has brought me to The Big Apple! However I’m nearing the end of my contract with the agency and have begun to plan my next move. I get the feeling that my agency will either extend my contract or offer an entry-level account position. but I’m not so sure about staying where I’m at.

My internship is currently in healthcare PR, but I’m totally itching to try different areas of the business, like consumer/lifestyle or beauty. Is it appropriate to talk to Human Resources about trying the consumer/lifestyle side of the agency? Will the members of my team totally hate me for wanting to move?

Thanks so much for your help!

Warmest,

Just Getting My Feet Wet

Getting My Feet Wet

This is something a lot of PR newbies face, and I know people personally that were in this situation. You should 100% talk to HR as soon as possible about trying a different division of PR. You’re just starting out, so now is the time as you know to get your feet wet in all different facets of the industry. It’s one of those, speak now or forever hold your peace situations.

While it may be an awkward conversation to have with your team members, do not feel bad about requesting the move. I’ve had experience in healthcare PR and it’s completely different from consumer. You’re team members are aware that healthcare PR isn’t for everyone and they should be understanding and accepting of that. And who knows – you might switch over to consumer and hate it.

If there isn’t a position open for you in the consumer division, consider switching agencies. Look for entry-level consumer positions since you already have a great internship under your belt. Put in your cover letter that you’re looking to get consumer PR experience as opposed to healthcare. Don’t miss this window of opportunity to make a change. You wouldn’t want to get cornered into a division of PR you’re not fully passionate about.

Hope this help and best of luck!

Xo, A

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PR PRowess: Own Your Mistakes

As PR people, we’re perfectionists. It’s hard to admit when we’ve done something wrong or a project/press release/pitch didn’t turn out the way we had worked for. Honestly, these are some of the times you learn the most.  You just got to own it.

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Here are a few ways to take advantage of a mistake, and turn it into a positive:

Approach who found your error – Whether it was your boss, a media contact, your professor or your mom. Ask how they are reading your mistake. What is coming across as “wrong?” How can it be “right?”

Take notes – Find the key changes that need to be made by doing a little research. Do you need a better quote for a release? Do you need to print out your resume or press release in order to read carefully and find errors?

Start implementing a new strategy right away – The worst mistakes are the ones that are repeated. It’s okay to mess up the same way a couple times until you get a handle on it, but there should be constant improvement. Remember your mistakes and make changes ASAP

Ask for help from a friend – Don’t LEAN on anyone, but if you want another set of eyes before you send to a boss/professor/colleague/mom, ask a close friend with an objective view to review your work or provide input. You could see something you’ve totally missed, whether it’s a punctuation mistake or a new pitch angle

 

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