The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

February 8th, 2010
Flickr Image: David Reece

Flickr Image: David Reece

Now that 2010 is well underway, I thought it would be interesting to go back and read some articles and posts from the past couple years to decipher what’s changed in the realm of media relations. 

I was a little surprised to find that not much has really changed!  (Not entirely surprised as this was what I suspected.)

Your target media now may not be just traditional media but also bloggers, ezine/webzine editors, streaming webcast producers, and freelance writers. However, the qualities or traits that define good media relations have remained essentially the same: Before preparing your press release, do your homework and familiarize yourself with the chosen topics as well as recent writings of your target journalists and bloggers. Then do some additional checking to ensure that your intended audience is also the audience for the media you’re about to pitch. (BurrellesLuce 2009 whitepaper “New Rules for Media Relations”)

In early 2009, Jeremy Porter conducted interviews with PR professionals in an effort to gauge what the biggest challenges were in dealing with the media. The results shared on his Journalistics blog could have been written today!  Some of the challenges included were:

  • Having accurate media contact information – keeping up with ongoing changes
  • Breaking through filters to reach the right contact, at the right time, with just the right information
  • Leveraging new media like Twitter in appropriate ways
  • Having better access to what journalists are writing about and what information they value most
  • Measuring the value of media outreach and placement – beyond impressions, release pickup and ad value
  • Developing more effective processes for media relations – moving away from one-size-fits-all pitching

With the exception of Twitter, this sounds like the same challenges we had 15 years ago when I was working at a St. Louis PR agency.

I’m not oblivious to the fact that public relations and the media are changing in some ways (that may be the topic for a future post), but in many ways it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Am I wrong? What similarities or changes have you seen occurring in the world of public relations and media these past few years?

2 Responses to “The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same”

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