Technology has made things easier but not always better. When our founder started in the public relations business PR professionals were literally hand delivering and mailing press releases to reporters.
The fax machine was a revelation that, while it sent out one at a time, instantly delivered press releases to newsrooms. Unfortunately those releases were often lost in a pile on the floor.
Then email made it possible to target reporters individually at their desk with a press release or story pitch. But the unintended consequence of making it so easy to target reporters and at such low cost is that most PR agencies got lazy and started sending mass email to hundreds of reporters at a time. This had the effect that continues today in cluttering reporters’ inboxes to the point that they read almost none of the emails they get unless they know who sent it to them.
The technological advances in communications ironically have made it harder to reach a reporter because so many bad PR practitioners are simply blasting every reporter within reach with information that is largely irrelevant to them.
So how do you get through the clutter of bad PR?
Desmond & Louis has several ways of getting through the clutter, some are able to be duplicated but one very important one is not. Many reporters at the local, state and national level know the PR professionals at D&L and they trust us and read what we send them.
Take the time to target reporters and editors with the right story. At D&L we take great pride in trying not to waste reporters’ and editors’ time with stories that have little or no relevance to them. It takes more effort on our part but we research reporters and what they cover and what kind of stories they like (or what their particular beat is) before we send them a press release or pitch. This enhances our reputation with the media world and makes them more receptive to us when we pitch a client.
We get success the old-fashioned way – we earn it… Another way to break through the clutter of information received by reporters is to pick up the phone and call them. It sounds simple but you would be surprised by how many public relations firms consider their job well done by writing the press release and buying space to put it out on the wire and hope for the best. In order to maximize your chances of success, like that we have earned for our clients, you must pick up the phone and call the media about your story.
There is no technological substitute for hard work, research, perseverance, going the extra mile, putting in a little elbow grease — and having a great reputation.