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Part 1 of 4: Becoming a PR Expert – Get to Know the Media

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Me:  Why is “the media” so important to us?

Erin:  The media is our most powerful means of communicating.  The media is changing everyday, so you have to keep up with who are the most effective mediums to help spread the word about you.

There are two things that people should be know:

  1. How will you deliver your message?  It’s crucial to know the difference between advertising, marketing and public relations.  All three can utilize the media to get your word out but how they do it is vastly different, so it’s really important to research the difference. 
  2. Local media vs. National media. Local media in New York City could be Good Day New York, Village Voice, or New York Post.  National media, would be the Today Show, Good Morning America, or The New York Times.  Many times, be mistakenly think The New York Times for example is a local media outlet – but it is read nationally so that is why it is not.

Social media is another big component of the media now, and that of course is Facebook, Twitter, your blogs, but it’s also ‘meet up ‘groups and websites and different ways to connect online with people. 

That of course is ever changing, and the job of a publicist is to adapt and change with that as well

Me:  With your experience over the last 18+ years, what are all the changes that you have seen?

Erin:  I would really date myself if I have shared all the changes I have seen!!  The most important thing to keep in mind is you need to develop a way to monitor all the change.  No brand left behind.  In your book you quote Jim Collins who said “Change is good as long as you are headed in the right direction!”..  That is so true with the media.  I encourage everyone to keep up with the changes or work with a team of people who can keep track of  the trends in garnering media exposure. 

Here are a few tips that I want to engrain in your brain.

  • Read magazines:  What types of articles and columns are the editors and reporters writing?
  • Listen to radio programs:  Do the shows that you want to be on even book guests?  If yes, are they talking straight chat?
  • Follow the blogs and other postings on websites that you’re a fan of.  Do they plug people, places, and things?
  • Watch the TV shows that you think you’d like to be on.  Imagine all the ways you could appear on that show. 
  • Talk to your friends or family.  They will know better than anybody what types of media they realistically see you appearing on.

Once you have figured out what you want to be apart of, look up names and numbers of these reporters and read their profiles.  A couple of databases that can give you access to this information are Cision, and Vocus.

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