Connecting the dots
“In this terrifying world, all we have are the connections that we make” – Bojack Horseman.
What is life if not a series of connections? Our life is defined by the impact we make on those surrounding us. Without human interaction, life would be meaningless as we cannot be remembered in the grand scheme of things. In essence, PR and communications are all about amplifying this concept while accepting that it does, in fact, take two to tango. Journalists need PR professionals to stay up to date on the latest developments and avail of all the necessary details before anyone else, and PR professionals, in return, need to get the journalists interested in what their clients have to share in terms of content. While it may seem like a reciprocal relationship, it is a mutually beneficial one and demands the same degree of respect and delicacy as a relationship one has with family and friends.
When speaking of the intriguing PR and Journalist relationship, most tend to forget an essential factor: we’re all human. Yes, journalists get called and emailed incessantly and hence will get annoyed just as the PR professional who is spoken to rudely on the phone when they have a solid news story or pitch to tell. It is transactional, but it is a relationship like any other, that needs mutual understanding, respect, and patience.
For example, PR professionals cannot expect a complete stranger to accept requests for help right off the bat. Trust me; I’ve tried. It takes a lot of nurturing to reach friendly interactions with a journalist, and all it takes is authenticity and a genuine approach.
Faking your personality with a journalist will get you nowhere. Just like anyone else, they can sense BS when they see it. Trying to be someone you’re not will never get you meaningful connections in your personal life. It is no different when it comes to professional relationships. All it takes is for you to be yourself, even if you feel like the journalist might not like it because they will at the very least respect it at the end of the day.
Enjoying the bond
Creating relationships and interacting with journalists should not feel like a chore. It should be just like meeting with a friend over coffee, dinner, or even a drink. The world of PR and communications is special and rewarding as it capitalizes on positive human interaction, so make the most of it. Make friends with and gain the respect of those professionals you need to work with as this will make everyone’s lives a lot easier and successful.
By Carine El Natour, Junior Communications Executive, Active DMC