Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
November 10, 2009

Persuasive Media Relations: The Key to Reaching All Your Publics

This PRSA International Conference Workshop was led by Rebecca Rose-Markarian, APR, and my BurrellesLuce colleague, Johna Burke

The session began with Markarian demonstrating a real-life example of a successful media relations campaign — for the 2007 Jaguar XK. Rebecca discussed the details behind the public relations strategy and why it was successful. The takeaways include some of the same items I included in a recent blog post, along with some great additions:

  • Do your homework; research the outlet and the journalist.
  • Role play your pitch.
  • Give the journalist an angle; offer multiple exclusives if you can, each with a different slant.
  • Be human — respectful, courteous, professional.
  • Make the media’s job easy.
  • Don’t take rejection personally.
  • Use social media to keep in touch.

Burke began her portion by talking about some tips for protecting your brand’s name in cyberspace, advising everyone to check their companies’ names on and (You can view her presentation slides here.)

She explained that most of us “get” the concept of social media but don’t really know how to apply it. We should ask ourselves, “Where is my audience,” and “How am I engaging?” In the case of Twitter, we should keep in mind that it’s not just what we see, but what we don’t see that matters.

She went on to talk about the impact of social media on everything from printed publications, Web content vs. premium Web content, and byliners to bloggers. One takeaway that really stuck out in my mind was that you must write for communication first and optimization second. We all want traffic and to be read; however, being misleading to get it will only backfire.

Finally, she touched on a point that Markarian mentioned — that we should engage journalists via social media (IF that’s where they hang out and how they want to receive communication/pitches). Read their articles and blogs and comment. 

What would you add?

Tressa Robbins brought 15 years of diversified business, communications and public relations experience to the company when she joined BurrellesLuce in 1998. In the decade since, she has applied her extensive sales and marketing know-how to reinforcing BurrellesLuce’s position among public relations professionals. Robbins currently serves as vice president-Media Contacts, overseeing sales and client services for BurrellesLuce’s popular digital database. She has been active in public relations and regional business groups, served on the Fair Saint Louis Marketing/PR Committee, and is a current member of the PRSA St. Louis Chapter. Connect with Tressa on Twitter.

For coverage of the PRSA 2009 International Conference: Delivering Value, visit our Conference blog or follow the conversation on Twitter at hashtag #prsa09.

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