Getting the PR basics correct

is writing a series of posts aiming to set out twenty brass-tack principles for media relations. Follow these, he says, and bring joy to journalists.  Sounds like a good promise that no PR student or practitioner should ignore.

All too often PR practitioners are criticised (including by me) for writing poor press releases and failing to understand the needs of the media. However, I find there is a great appetite to improve skills in this key competency. 

Earlier today I sent out an notice to members regarding a workshop on writing better press releases .  The date is next Friday (2 November), so you might expect the short notice to be an issue.  But within minutes places had been snapped up by those working in consultancies and in-house within the motor industry.

Recognising the demand for being better communicators, I’m planning a series of workshops this Winter that focus on writing for a variety of purposes, as well as looking at skills required for working with radio and television media.

Now if only we could get every PR practitioner who sends out a pointless press release to follow the advice from Pete and myself…

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

One thought on “Getting the PR basics correct”

  1. As a journalist who used to read press releases written by PR practitioners, I can tell you that many of them were very poor and missed out the basic facts. I wondered if they had been written by their work experience student, but hey, he or she may have been more on the ball.

    We used to throw a lot of them in the bin. They need to realise that unless there is a good news angle, they don’t stand a chance. A good news angle is intuitive, it comes with intelligence and experience. Please advise them not to send in a press release that won’t stand up because they will lose credibility. When I write a press release, I am intuitively thinking of what the newspaper headline will be. I know the points of interest that will attract a news editor’s attention. How many PR practitioners work in that way? And, most importantly, how many of them pick up the phone afterwards and speak to the news editors to check it arrived? Whenever I do this, nine times out of ten they ask me to resend it.

    Good luck.

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