Media Relations Tips from EMU’s Director of Communications

We recently had EMU’s Director of Communications, Pam Young, speak to our PRSSA chapter.

Pam is also our professional advisor and a member of PRSA-Detroit (as well as a former president of the PRSA-Detroit chapter).

Here are a few bits of information that she taught us.

1. Being able to write is crucial in public relations.

2. Reporters have to do more tasks than ever due to budget cuts. You have to be able to do more with less.

3. Be aware of who you are sending your stories to. Make sure you are sending your story to a reporter who covers the same genre of news that your story fits in.

4. Think outside the box.

5. When applying for a job, put together a sample media plan for the business you are applying to.

6. When applying for a non-profit, put together a  sample media plan and a sample PR plan.

7. With the media, build relationships and don’t send useless items. Only send information that  they can use.

8. Always branch out.

9. Be Creative.

10. Media relations is sometimes about pulling the strings behind the camera as opposed to getting in front of it.

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Pamela Young

11. Sometimes you may have to “wear a cape” for attention.

12. Keep relationships with the media strictly business relationships.

13. An EMU press kit includes an EMU folder with a press release, fast facts and sometimes a jump drive with pictures that reporters can use. Basically, include any information that you want the news reporter to know in your press kit.

14. Put yourself in the reporter’s place when making a press kit (this way you’ll know what will be the most effective and useful material to include in it).

15. Give the press kit ahead of time to your bosses. That way they can study up on any new developments and if anyone asks them a question, they will know what to talk about.

16. B-Roll: This is generic footage that is used by the media when reporting on a certain story.

17. Building relationships with the media is a continuous process.

18. Never ask to see a news story about yourself or your company before it is printed.

19. Don’t completely trust the media. After all, they have a job to do, too.

20. Try to keep everything “on the record.”

If you have any questions about media relations, Pam Young can be reached at pamela.young@emich.edu.

Scott Mullin
Secretary
EMU PRSSA
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