Tuesday, September 18, 2007

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Recently posted was a message from “Blankset” who asked some questions about the industry and I’d like to open them up to you all for comment.

Q1 What is the best approach to making media contacts within industries in which you are completely un-networked? A simple email intro?

Q2 Who is the best first-point-of-contact person at various publications?

Q3 What are some of the most exciting break-the-mold new types of 'PR' you have observed in the last 5 years?

I have my thoughts – what are yours? Feel free to post a reply answer to one or all of the questions.

CONFERENCE OF INTEREST TO THOSE IN GOVT SECTOR IN NSW AUSTRALIA
Following is a link to a conference in Sydney on “Achieving Internal Communications Best Practice in the Public Sector” that I am delighted to be speaking at

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/events-b078-internalcommsps.htm
Yours in prosperity, passion and purpose
Heidi Alexandra Pollard

7 comments:

Heidi Alexandra Pollard said...

Id like to answer question 1, however it does take you back about 10 years ago and what worked for me.

Like some of my many new formed colleagues recently, I was new to the Central Coast and new in a position where I had to liaise with the media, the simple answer for me was to pick up the phone and invite the editor of the paper or chief journalist at the television station or general manager of a radio station and invite him/her out for coffee/lunch and sitting down and having a good yarn about each other, today business calls this stakeholder engagement.

Nothing worked as simple as taking time out to get to know some one and giving them your undivided attention. Point to note though, the Central Coast has only two major papers (The EXpress Advocate and The Sun), two radio stations (at that time) with the same general manager and lets face it, it wasnt hard to talk to any of them and provide them with stories that they didnt have to go out and find..............

It was a good starting point for me and a great business friendship that developed steadily over the years.

This of course may not be able to be applied to a larger regional location like Sydney as you will be competing with other businesses and their interests. But its worth giving it a shot, and who knows, maybe your next idle banter over tea will be the beginning of a wonderul friendship.
Cheers for now......
Fran Hannan
C4 Marketing

Heidi Alexandra Pollard said...

Id like to answer question 1, however it does take you back about 10 years ago and what worked for me.

Like some of my many new formed colleagues recently, I was new to the Central Coast and new in a position where I had to liaise with the media, the simple answer for me was to pick up the phone and invite the editor of the paper or chief journalist at the television station or general manager of a radio station and invite him/her out for coffee/lunch and sitting down and having a good yarn about each other, today business calls this stakeholder engagement.

Nothing worked as simple as taking time out to get to know some one and giving them your undivided attention. Point to note though, the Central Coast has only two major papers (The EXpress Advocate and The Sun), two radio stations (at that time) with the same general manager and lets face it, it wasnt hard to talk to any of them and provide them with stories that they didnt have to go out and find..............

It was a good starting point for me and a great business friendship that developed steadily over the years.

This of course may not be able to be applied to a larger regional location like Sydney as you will be competing with other businesses and their interests. But its worth giving it a shot, and who knows, maybe your next idle banter over tea will be the beginning of a wonderul friendship.
Cheers for now......
Fran Hannan
C4 Marketing

Heidi Alexandra Pollard said...

Q1 - I am not really a huge fan of a cold canvas via email. I think a brief phone call first is always good. Then follow-up with an email.
If you feel uncomfortable making the call with no previous introduction, think about who in your existing network you could use to refer you or whose name you could slip into your initial phone conversation to make everything feel a bit more familiar.

And for Q2 - If you are talking print, phone through to the "editor's desk". In a smaller publication you will likely get straight on to the editor, while in a larger place you will probably get a secretariat for the editorial team who will then refer you on to the most appropriate person.
Getting straight on to the editor at a smaller publication is great as you immediately know where you stand. They will usually always give you a yay or nay on your story idea or pitch straight away.
For the larger places, the secretariat for the editorial team is used to taking unsolicited calls so they are usually pleasant and happy to pass you on. If you call the journo or member of the editorial team direct and they don't know you, 99 per cent of the time you won't even get a return phone call.
KRISTIE ATKINS, Greater Union Organisation

Heidi Alexandra Pollard said...

As an editor of a community newspaper, I would appreciate media people introducing themselves to me. When I started this position two years ago, not one media person rang to introduce themselves. I must admit in other regions this has always been the done thing. When I arrived at newspaper I was inundated with calls from local companies, organisations and associations wanting to talk to me. Then there were regular catch-ups. I think it is a great idea and one many people should take onboard, including myself. But then it is never too late to start.
Kim-Cherie Davidson, The Star Newspaper Newcastle and Lake Macquarie

Heidi Alexandra Pollard said...

I agree with the responses so far - from my experience, networking in general proves invaluable when creating stakeholder relationships in the field of media, government or any industry profession for that matter. I am constantly amazed by the linkages between people in differing industries and I am often reminded it’s a very small world! My role is a statewide stakeholder/ media role so it’s obviously not feasible for me to visit every media outlet in NSW. However I have built very positive relationships with individuals and organisations and I believe this is based around service delivery and gaining credibility within the field- all done mostly over the phone. I don’t think the email adds any value until after you’ve established a relationship- but even then you need to make the effort to talk to the person once in a while!
Susan Tracey, NSW Department of Lands

Taylor Thornley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taylor Thornley said...

I am currently taking a class on communications and technology and for my class we have to maintain a blog with various assignments. Today we had to blog on a topic similar to this, about how to make and maintain media contacts. I would appreciate if you would take a look at my post and comment on it, adding your insight and expertise. My blog is http://taylorthornley.blogspot.com/. Thank you.