Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting a seasoned professional, Jennifer Ellson, Editor of Canadian Forest Industries Magazine, for a chat with our Amplify team. Jennifer has written for Forbes Magazine, and the Financial Times, and was a food and travel freelance writer. She emphasized the importance of a good Public Relations (PR) and Journalist relationship. Jennifer recognizes the symbiotic nature of the journalist-PR relationship and was eager to shed light on how journalists need good PR professionals, and PR professionals need good journalists. It was a refreshing reminder that we're not alone in our pursuit of better communication and collaboration.
Here are some valuable takeaways from our conversation with Jennifer:
1. Tailored Pitches: Most days, journalists are inundated with emails and pitches from various publications. In today’s shrinking newsrooms, this means that journalists not only cover the daily breaking news, but also wade through hundreds of pitches to find those that are relevant and timely. She urged us to research the publication before sending a pitch to ensure it is relevant to your topic. Sending a clear subject line by including your story’s headline and a concise pitch can almost always guarantee a journalist’s interest.
2. Accurate and complete Information: Journalists work under tight deadlines, and they rely on PR professionals like our team to provide accurate and relevant information. By providing as much information, background information, access to sources and interviews and high-resolution photos with captions and photo credits, you will make it easy for the journalist to trust you and help build credibility.
3. Grammatical and Factual Accuracy: When a journalist receives a story from PR professionals, it is expected that the story will be complete and devoid of any grammatical, or factual errors. If your work arrives in the journalist’s inbox unedited one too many times, it would discourage the journalist from trusting you, affecting your chances of getting a story published or further researched.
4. Respect for Deadlines: Meeting deadlines is essential in the fast-paced world of journalism. PR professionals should be respectful of journalists' timelines and avoid last-minute changes or delays.
5. Respect for Editorial Independence: Journalists value their independence, and PR pros get it! Sometimes, the story you pitch might not be their cup of tea, and that's okay. Understanding and respecting their editorial decisions is like a secret handshake for a rock-solid relationship. Keep it professional, understand that they are doing their job, and the bond stays unbreakable!
Journalists and PR professionals are like two sides of the same coin, sharing a common goal - to tell compelling, accurate stories and communicate effectively. As a former journalist, I understand the dedication and passion that goes into uncovering the truth and delivering unbiased news to the public. Now, as a communications specialist, I see the vital role of crafting engaging narratives and building authentic connections for our clients and the audiences they want to reach.
Together, there is so much potential, to shape the narrative and drive impactful communication. Our team at Amplify is proud to collaborate with journalists from across the globe to amplify our clients and make waves together in our ever-changing media landscape.