This is the biggest misconception people have when launching a PR or media relations campaign. It's common even among seasoned marketers.

But it's the truth.

Here's a tip: Journalists are not sitting around waiting to regurgitate what they’re sent by PR people. They are not parrots.

We were reminded about this we saw this Tweet linking to The Walking Deadline from Billy Brown, a journalist we work with fairly regularly.

Billy, like many journalists/bloggers/content creators/whatever you want to call them, is not a parrot. Also, Billy is not an idiot and can think for himself. Why is this important to keep in mind?

If we put in the headline of a press release or subject line of an email “This Is A Game Changer!” or "This Is The Best Thing Ever!" then it better be a game-changer, or else Billy will think twice before looking at our pitch next time around. Keep in mind that we can send things to Billy that aren’t game-changers, but before we do, we better be able to explain why it’s worth his time or else we're going to sour the relationship.

Simple enough? You'd think so, but time and again PR people are asked to push things to media that either aren't newsworthy or so overstated that they turn off the intended media targets.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when trying to forge relationships with journalists and what you need to do to ensure your efforts are deemed newsworthy.

Personally, when looking to hire consultants for our partners, we’ve found that the best PR people are those that can secure coverage for the brands that aren’t the leaders in their space. Our overused phrase in this instance is that anyone can pitch an iPhone to the media. Everyone wants to cover the next iPhone.

Even that Instagram personality with 100k that you so desperately want to feature your brand using a VSCO picture may work days, if not weeks in advance. Local media have their own deadlines, as do journalists who write for magazines and websites.

We'll close with this because potential clients often ask about media lists and networks.

Relationships matter,  but the story being pitched is more important.

Remedy has developed some incredible relationships and in our network of colleagues, it's fairly easy to connect to journalists we've never worked with before. The same goes for many other PR consultants and firms and a lot of them will agree that the relationship won’t matter if we don’t follow some simple points outlined above.

If you want to secure editorial coverage for your brand, you need to look at it from the reporter’s perspective and go from there. Give them a relevant story for their coverage area(s), presented in a way they want to see it and with time to consider it.

Need a second opinion on the topic? Check out this article on PRNewser for some similar examples to what we outlined above.

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