The Dynamic between the Media and PR Professionals
Yesterday, PRSourceCode issued the results of its 2013 Top Tech Communicators Awards. The awards recognize the top technology writers, outlets, tech PR firms and individual PR practitioners based on a survey of tech journalists and tech PR professionals.
We're delighted that LPP has been named to the list of the top firms. Nothing is more validating than being proactively called out as one of the best in the field by a combination of our peers and the technology media. A special thanks to those who named us.
But beyond the list of award winners, the most interesting data point revealed in today's announcement were some of the insights into how the media and PR professionals are working today, and the best practices for improving the dynamic between them. Here are a few worth noting:
- In spite of all the complaints about email overload and predictions that someday we'll all stop living in our email inboxes and do all of our communicating through social channels, 99% of journalists said that email is still their preferred method of communication.
- Also a bit surprising was that connecting with journalists though the phone was the second most preferred method of communication. 43% of journalists say phone calls from PR are still a great way to connect with them. Conversely, 70% of PR pros say that they still pitch via phone.
Why such a disparity between the two? My assumption is that phone pitching is done in conjunction with email pitching. We've all felt the pressure of getting the answer as to why a reporter is not interested in a story, almost as much as why they are interested.
- Of the social media tools, journalists rank LinkedIn as their preferred connection channel, Twitter second and Facebook a distant third.
Makes sense to me. LinkedIn is just like the old rolodex of contacts reporters always relied on. Personally, I have always found messages I've sent through LinkedIn to have the highest rates of return, even more than email. I think it's because connecting through LinkedIn requires a conscious decision to add people to our network and vice versa. That connection implies a level of credibility and trust so that when the message comes through, you respond.
Twitter has become a popular way for journalists to source for stories and post updates on what they've recently published, which makes for a great source for understanding what they care about and how to work with them. I think most of us still look at Facebook as more personal and if you want to keep your work and home life separate, doing so on Facebook is a must.
- And finally, the survey reveals that the ever delicate, sometimes contentious, sometimes friendly relationship between PR and journalists still exists despite the introduction of social tools that should improve the quality of our interactions.
Bottom line is that the Top Tech Communicator Awards reveal that PR pros build relationships and trust with the media by not only understanding them, their jobs and interests, but by also doing the same for our clients. Being a thoughtful and prepared bridge between the media and your clients and adding value to that equation is what will build your reputation as someone who gets it. If you follow that credo you will surely pop up in the conversation of the best PR pros to know.