How to Optimize Your Relationship with a PR Firm
By Laurie McAndish King
One benefit of BATW membership is the opportunity for writers and photographers to meet and develop relationships with BATW’s Associate members—including talented and well-connected PR professionals. In anticipation of our November 19th Associates Meeting, we interviewed Molly Blaisdell (President of Hook, Line & Thinker — Public Relations and Marketing) about ways to get the most from your relationships with PR professionals.
BATW: Molly, what suggestions do you have for journalists who want to nurture relationships with PR professionals?
Molly: Writers can reach out to PR people in the same way PR people reach out to pitch journalists and maintain relationships: through meals, networking, Facebook, phone calls, and LinkedIn.
BATW: What do PR professionals expect from such relationships?
Molly: An exchange of ideas about how to pitch stories, and an honest representation of the journalist’s current outlets.
BATW: What if we’re willing to write something, but can’t confirm publication of the article?
Molly: Well, that happens. However, the journalist needs to be up front that he/she cannot confirm publication. I enjoy connecting responsible writers with editors who know and trust me, and who might be looking for new freelancers.
BATW: How about some DOs and DON’Ts for working with PR professionals?
Molly: DO: Produce stories (!) and send links to the PR person; read and follow your itinerary on a press trip; praise our clients and make us look good … we’ll be a lot more productive for you! DON’T: We understand that you’re in the business of asking questions and uncovering information, but don’t expect PR people to do all your homework, writing and research. Don’t be a pain in the *%&! — too many journalists have excessive demands and expect the red carpet treatment; that’s wasteful and unnecessary.
BATW: What are your expectations about press trips?
Molly: PR pros know it’s a tough market out there, but we still expect each participating journalist to produce. If it’s a one-time thing and a journalist can’t publish, that’s understandable, but we PR people talk, and the “deadbeats” are usually revealed when we chat about prospects for press trips with our colleagues. If journalists don’t think they can publish, they should not accept a trip … it’s just not cool.
BATW: Is blogging about an event or venue helpful, or do you expect a more formal article?
Molly: LOVE the blogging, especially if it’s immediate and can either promote the event in advance or provide visibility right afterward. However, we do want traditional media as well as social marketing (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.).
BATW: Thanks, Molly for clarifying those issues and expectations. We’re looking forward to a fun and fruitful Associates Meeting.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Thanks to Laurie McAndish King for this interview with Molly Blaisdell, who is working fast and furiously on our November Associates Meeting and Media Marketplace.]