Recently, I was asked the question: What makes a person skilled at media relations? And it got me thinking.
The obvious answer of course is probably somewhere along the lines of ‘building relationships with journalists’ and having ‘the ability to effectively communicate a story’. But I think it’s much more than that.
PRs can already build relationships and communicate well. It’s an essential responsibility to any PR role, so just what is it that makes somebody skilled at media relations?
You have to be both memorable and reliable.
No matter how good you are at your job, if you don’t express your personality and become memorable to a journalist or a key contact, then how is it possible to build a strong relationship with a journalist? You may be able to rival Shakespeare in the art of storytelling, but why bother in the first place if you struggle to meet deadlines or fail to deliver on promises to a journalist.
Building relationships and expressing a good story is a given – it’s what PRs are essentially paid to do, so don’t ever underestimate the power of showing off your character. We all want journalists to come to us with advice, looking to supply comment or help out on a story. This is what motivates me – and it can be done – just remember (as cliché as it sounds) to stand out amongst the crowd, because we can be a noisy bunch, us PRs.