My first few weeks at Red PR have gone a little like this: emails, texts and tweets saying “you’ve switched to the dark side” …have I? You may have guessed it – I was a journalist, a television reporter in fact.
I worked with a brilliant team in a regional station and loved it! I was on the road every day, met lots of amazing people and experienced some pretty cool things. Before that I worked as a breakfast journalist for a popular Brisbane FM station. Dream jobs? Maybe for some… not so much for me anymore.
My style is Public Relations. Even though before this I’d never written a blog, pitched a story or even created a Pinterest account (shock, horror I know!) this is what I love to do. Working with top Australian brands, promoting causes I believe in, interacting with some of the country’s most influential communicators and all out of the wonderful Brisbane.
Despite this being my first PR role, having worked as a journalist previously, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve – mostly what NOT to do.
Firstly – if you’re trying to pitch a story make sure you know what it’s about! It sounds so simple, but when I worked as a journalist I would constantly get phones calls from PR’s telling me about this event that’s happening, or a ‘well-known’ person coming to town that I should cover. While that is all well and good, when I would ask a few questions about the story, they had next to no idea. Often they would have to hang up, check their facts and call me back. This could go on for days – not a good sign to me sitting on the other end of the phone and ultimately a bad result for their client.
Secondly – think about what type of media you are pitching a story to and where it is. If you email a regional TV station about a conference being held in Brisbane there is very little they can do and unless it directly relates to them and is a lead story, you’re probably wasting your time (and theirs). If it’s a radio station you’re pitching to make it short, direct and punchy. Radio journalists don’t have a lot of time; they’re often minutes away from deadline and needs things done yesterday.
Thirdly – just be nice! Journalist aren’t so bad… not all of them. They’re often incredibly thankful for the help a useful PR person can give them and look forward to continuing the relationship.
Having ‘made the switch’, I know both professions, journalism and public relations, need each other to work well. Each industry has its’ own role and with the right attitude, understanding and skill it can be a mutually beneficial relationship. So for those of you asking if I switched to the ‘dark’ side… no I haven’t, I’ve switched to Red!