Media · Work

Media and the Conversation

One of the things I want to do here is combine both the funny (see previous post on procrastination) and thoughts on media and public relations, which is the space I’m in. So, today, a few more serious points …

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During a series of meetings in New York yesterday, I had a great discussion with a fellow PR person about the state of our profession. I was surprised to learn that we shared a similar philosophy – that the coverage we earn on behalf of clients is not the result of how well we know a reporter or how many times we’ve worked with them, but how good the story is. The challenge is always communicating that to potential or existing clients, who, more often than not, ask which reporters we know, who we’ve worked with in the past, etc.

It surely isn’t every day you meet someone with that philosophy – but it’s absolutely true, particularly in today’s media environment. Reporters move to different cities and outlets all the time – there are never any guarantees.

Which is why, finding the most compelling detail of a story that engages a busy reporter (and ultimately a media-saturated consumer) is usually the difference between gaining coverage and not gaining coverage; it is truly an art.

On the PR practitioners’ side, that level of transparency – and honesty – with clients that will keep our profession vital and command a seat at the executive table.

For the client’s part, it’s important to understand that unless we have a compelling story to tell, getting attention will be a challenge.

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Great story … (posted via Twitter from @MarkReganCEO) …

http://bit.ly/9Mmp1L

As the author points out, this is the Era of the Audience. For many, it’s no longer acceptable to simply listen to a presentation or keynote speech. Instead, people want to engage – whether that’s through social media or actually developing content together – and add to the agenda … the “unconference,” as it has come to be known.

Some great examples (and these have been around for a while) of organizations that act more as facilitator than content producer:

* NY Tech Meet-Up Group – http://www.meetup.com – Always engaging. These monthly gatherings draw a huge following both via an online stream and in-person. Compelling presentations, the true cutting edge of media.

* WeMedia – http://wemedia.com/ – An organization that, more than a decade ago, was inviting journalists and thought leaders to assist its leaders in developing conference content and, once on-site, interact in small groups online and off.

Which brings to mind a chicken-egg scenario: Is technology fueling the interest in engagement and participation, or consumer / user demand?

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