PayPal’s director of global corporate communications Amanda Miller cautions the next generation of PR professionals to realize that visuals, owned media and social are just a piece in an ecosystem that should include earned media, too.
At a time when PR pros are taken to be spinners, flacks and other relatively ineffective communicators, it is imperative to double down on truth telling. Pete Janhunen relays a story that illustrates this lesson and urges young people coming into the business to hold to the highest standards.
Whom do you trust? That’s become a bigger question in the fake news era for reporters. The PR practitioner plays a vital role building a relationship between brand experts and the media. The expectation is not that the media automatically will include our brand in an essay, but based on our relationship journalists should know they can trust us and those we put forward as resources.
Communicators probably prefer a press-friendly CEO as opposed to one who’s media-averse. On the other hand, when the CEO’s mouth overshadows the brand and damages its reputation, communicators often reach for aspirin. An example, of course, is “Papa” John Schnatter. Another is Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk, who recently spent a weekend deflecting stories.
The distinction between misinformation and disinformation is at the heart of Mark Zuckerberg’s thinking about why Holocaust deniers’ material can remain on Facebook. He’s likely debated this thorny question with his senior team. Unfortunately, his comments this week and his subsequent walk back muddled the distinction. In terms of walking back, though, he had plenty of company from other prominent people.
There was a gathering of editors from leading D.C. publications whose job includes evaluating op-ed submissions from outside writers. Their tips on how to get published amounted to a clinic for authors. A major takeaway was that while editors want jargon-free submissions with strong points of view, each publication has certain preferences. This means the road to success for media pitchers is to know those preferences.
President Trump’s selection of William Shine as deputy chief of staff for communications is another example of how the commander-in-chief continues to rewrite traditional PR tactics. For the most part, the revisions have served the president well. The same cannot be said of their effectiveness for ousted EPA chief Scott Pruitt.
In a recent PR News survey of more than 400 media relations professionals, nearly everyone said email is their top pitching method. Just four respondents said Twitter is their first choice. These results do not entirely negate social media’s importance to media relations pros—55% of survey respondents said Twitter is their second-most effective method of connecting with reporters. But caution on social should prevail at all times.
In our regular feature that looks at presentations, we present slides that offer suggestions on how to pitch media using social media. The thing is, don’t use social media to pitch. On the other hand, it can be very useful to research your targeted reporters and build relationships with them.
It’s so tempting. There’s a large media list at the ready. All one needs to do is craft a compelling narrative, attach it to the media list, hit send and wait for journalists to call. It’s the digital age, after all. Why not deploy the eponymous technology and send out hundreds of pitches with the click of a mouse? If it only was that easy.