Category Archives: media

Basics of Media Relations: The Bread & Butter of PR

By: Abby Cousineau

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The role of a PR practitioner has changed so much over the years, but one responsibility that has always remained ours is media relations. Media relations is the “bread and butter” of PR and has been our specialty since the days of Edward Bernays. While our jobs have certainly evolved to include various responsibilities associated with social media, marketing and advertising, we are still the ones responsible for earning space in the media.

Since media relations is so vital, we wanted to learn more, and we brought in an expert to teach us. Last month, Chris Austin, senior account executive at Identity Public Relations, ran a workshop about media relations for us. We learned about what media relations is and the role of the PR practitioner in the process. Here are the key highlights from Chris’ workshop:

The media room is shrinking every day. There is less money and reporters have more work to do than they did in the past. Reporters rely on media relations specialists to provide accurate and interesting information and story ideas.

While social efforts often grab most the attention today, the media is still important. The media provides thee important things to clients:

  1. Visibility/awareness
  2. Credibility
  3. Relationships

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Many different types of media coverage exist. Each client is different and may require unique media coverage to tell their story. You can learn more about the different types of coverage here. Some examples include:

  • Bylined column
  • Expert Source
  • Executive or company profile
  • In-studio TV or radio guest
  • On-site TV guest
  • Brief/press release pick-up

Pitching is how we give reporters story ideas. Pitching is usually done through email and is concise, interesting and informative. Chris offered the following tips for what the media looks for in a pitch:

  • Newsworthy content
  • Interesting to the reporter
  • A story their readers will want to read
  • Provides useful information
  • A story that can be written by their deadline
  • A story that applies to a broad spectrum of readers, listeners or viewers

And finally, he summarized what the news actually is:

  • Timely
  • Relevant
  • Useful/impactful
  • Controversial
  • Unusual

Are you interested in media relations? Did you think this summary was helpful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Abby Cousineau is a senior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. She is currently serving as president of EMU PRSSA and is excited to be leading such a creative and dedicated group of individuals. You can usually find Abby outside anytime the weather is nice or otherwise spending her time behind a computer screen, working on one of her design projects. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.
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The Five Types of Media Coverage you Need to Know

By Nicole Raymond

At a recent EMU PRSSA meeting, we had guest speaker, Chris Austin from Identity PR speak to our chapter about media relations. Among a plethora of vital information to remember when approaching media relations, Chris defined the six different types of media coverage you can score for your company or clients.

1. Bylined column: A column anywhere from 500 to 2,000 words but generally between 800 and 1,000 words. This type of column is written by the public relations professional after they interview their client to gather information. The public relations expert then writes a draft of the byline and the client reviews and makes edits to the document. The PR professional then sends the byline to publications with the client’s name attached.

Ask an Expert

Source: https://thewritelife.com/find-an-expert-source-for-your-next-article/

2.  Expert Source: A reporter interviews your client and uses select quotes to accompany a story. For example, if a reporter is doing a story on cybersecurity and you have a client who is an expert in the cybersecurity field, you can connect the two and the reporter will interview and use the quotes from your client in their story.

3.  Executive/Company Profile: This type of media coverage is just what it sounds like, it is a piece written on an executive in the company or about the company itself. A profile piece is reporter driven, and they are placed in trade publications.

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Source: http://www.library.fordham.edu/itservices/videostudio.html

4.  In-Studio TV/Radio Guest: This piece of coverage consists of an interview with an anchor on television or radio. These types of segments can be live or taped, and television segments use heavy visual aspects. The goal of this media coverage is to entertain audiences.

5.  Brief/Press Release: One of the traditional media coverages is a brief or a press release. This type of media coverage is a way to get client news out. It is written by a public relations professional and sent out to media sources to cover the story.

Every organization has a story to be told, and you can use one of these six types of media coverage to help share that story with the organization’s audience!

Nicole Raymond graduated from EMU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and served as PRSSA’s VP of External Relations from 2016 to 2017. Raymond is currently a graduate student in the IMC program here at Eastern.