This title might lead you to think that this is going to be a spooky blog post — only spooky if the idea of communicating with PR folks scares you.
I’m here to tell you from both sides of the field: it shouldn’t.
As a co-producer of online radio show “Michigan in Motion” on www.michiganbusinessnetwork.com, I book guests for the program. In addition to being able to speak with a wide variety of interesting and noteworthy guests, I also get a distinct opportunity to work with their PR reps.
Now, this used to intimidate me. Would they decline to book their clients for my show if they discovered I was only a part-time radio producer?
Thankfully this is not the case. In fact, PR reps are usually relieved to work with a fellow public relations professional. We understand each other; they know that I will respect their clients (and the reps themselves) and follow through on my promises. In turn, I know they do their best to make clients available when we need them, respond promptly to my queries and are willing to lend a hand if I need a back-up guest.
A unique benefit is being able to see all the different pitches that come through my inbox. Long, short, dense, simple — I get to see first-hand what works to spark my interest and what isn’t quite ready for primetime. Here’s what I’ve learned.
- Keep pitches short, simple and courteous
- Bullets are a great tool to get the message across (clearly!)
- Always make an effort to treat the person at the other end like you would want to be treated
As a PR rep, I don’t sweat it if a reporter or a news producer is having a bad day. I know how stressful those deadlines can be, or how hard it is to find a replacement guests when someone drops out at the last minute.
And when PR reps contact me to book their clients on my show? Well I try to be as nice as possible; I know how scary that call can be.