I’m not a PR professional but I’ve been doing PR for myself and others for over 15 years now. Mostly for clients or as favours for friends. I’ve managed to get myself in print, on radio and TV with my efforts. If you have something interesting to say in a language that the audience of a media organisation understands then you have a better chance of getting media coverage. You have to give them something interesting too. “Company A does the same as 100 other companies” is not going to cut it. You have to work harder than that to get media attention. The workshops I run will help you to put your press templates and media plans together. There’s no guarantee you’ll get into the media in your first attempt but your chances will be better and over time you’ll see what is needed.
PR workshop structure:
- Current Media Landscape
- What a journalist wants
- Crafting your story
- How to come up with attractive ideas
- Press releases I did for people
- Seeing how others do it (Stealing ideas)
- Pitching your ideas
- Relationship building: Being useful to journalists not just when you are looking for something.
- Be kind to the baby media types who are just starting.
Date and Location
Dublin City Centre, September 5th.
Maximum 10 people at this event.
Workshop structure i.e. you’ll be given exercises.
1030am until 4pm.
Delegate pack with exercises and documents on the day.
Current Media Landscape
The good ole days that never were where a journalist was social and walked the beat to find stories is not a thing any more. So many journalists are spending all their time behind desks, doing emails, researching online and making calls. The expectation too is that they bang out way more stories than before. So much pressure in being first with a story that everyone else is going to have too. If email is the main touchpoint with journalists then you need to realise you are competing with dozens of other emails per day that they get.
What a journalist wants
I’ve had people go “so and so is doing dodgy things, can you get on to your journalist friends to do a story?”. See above, they don’t have time and why the fuck should they waste their time on doing loads of work on “man down the pub said” stuff. You need to bring them data, something unique, credibility and structured so they can sell it to their editor and the public. How much time do you think they spend on putting articles together? What do they want? Something interesting, something exclusive, something that won’t make them look like they were taken for a fool.
Crafting your story
You need to create a story that is easy to understand via an email or phone call. That can be shared on media platforms where readers/listeners/viewers can get what you’re doing. Terms from inside your bubble are fine in your bubble but when you want to reach mass audiences you need to create messages that the majority will understand and consider. Write for your mother, your neighbour so that they get what you do in general terms. Then you need to position yourself. Are you a challenger, a trailblazer, are you something totally new?
How to come up with attractive ideas
Doing surveys, digging out data, doing FOis, analysing industry reports, being a counter to the current accepted norms, having done good research.
Press releases I did for people
We’ll go through some of the press releases I’ve done to get into the media and see how far they went.
Seeing how others do it (Stealing ideas)
Going to press sections of websites, looking at press coverage of businesses.
Pitching your ideas
How do you pitch to a busy journalist? Why should they trust you since they don’t know you at all?
Relationship building: Being useful to journalists not just when you are looking for something.
If you are someone a journalist can go to when they’re stuck for a quote or are someone who can send them to a source they’re looking for, they will be happy to listen to your pitches. There are plenty of things that you will encounter that you can send on to a journalist that will be useful to them. If they took the time to do a story on your business, thank them by helping them with their work.
Be kind to the baby media types who are just starting.
Some of media students or freelancers I helped many years ago are now senior reporters in newspapers or are producers in radio/tv. Talk to students if you have the time, go on to community radio to talk about your business or your area. Media students especially get the short straw and struggle for years to build their experience. Treat them well and they’ll remember you too. Smaller publications and local community radio is also a great place to get more skills in working with the media. It’s also just nice to be nice.
Here are some tips on PR I put together, use them if you don’t want to come to the workshops. In their own words, what journalists are looking for.