As CEO and founder of RYSE Marketing & Communications, Erik Mason works to demystify the connection between public relations and the media for his clients.


erik mason2 CEO Offers 5 PR Principles To Help Demystify The PR Media Connection

Erik Mason
(Photo courtesy of Erik Mason)


Public relations is a mystery to us. We have been writing press releases and doing blog posts and trying to engage the press on social media, but we get next to nothing for such tremendous efforts. Is PR dead and all advertising/pay for play now, or are we just doing it totally wrong?
The answer to the first half of this question is definitively no. PR is in no way dead and in no way amounting to advertising or pay for play advertorial columns, though that is an option as part of a larger brand awareness building activity if budgets allow for it.

To answer to the second half of the question, I would say that you are doing it half wrong with trying to facilitate an initial discussion with a member of the press via their Twitter handle, or on LinkedIn, or otherwise, since the overwhelming majority prefer to have contact made via e-mail. That said, keep in mind journalists and editors are inundated with hundreds of e-mails, many of them way off topic or completely under-serving their needs, so be sure to factor that into any PR pitch whether it’s a news announcement or an exclusive story idea. The biggest challenge any organization has to resist is simply looking at anything they send to the press as being newsworthy.

Mason offers five key PR principles

  1. Know the target publications you want to secure coverage.

  2. Research who covers the topics you want to promote related to your business.

  3. Think like a journalist within your organization. What great, interesting stories are contained in these four walls, and even beyond to the end customer, that audiences would want to read/hear about?

  4. Writing crisp, succinct, compelling message flows is essential to developing a level of respect with the reporter by showing you take pride in your work and respect the written word in all its glory. In terms of press releases, think of it as a short story arc that flows from the headline, to the sub-headline, then the main supporting fact that holds up the statements made in the headline and sub.

  5. Don’t forget the ‘relations’ in ‘Public Relations’ since this is all about establishing a level of trust and rapport. The press needs good sources to go to on a regular basis to help them do their jobs. Good relationships help facilitate that, and being respectful of their time by giving them only the best of the best content, knowing the stories that motivate them by doing your research, and just having a good sense on when to follow up vs. when you’re nagging is a great starting point here. Show some appreciation by commenting on their online articles and retweeting their stories. The new era within media is being able to demonstrate they have an audience, and actual online engagement so help support that effort.


This article was written by Robin D. Everson for Small Business Pulse


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