I spoke to someone whom I thought might be interested in a Media Training session today. His reaction was “I don’t talk to the media. Nothing good ever comes out of it!”
I was slightly taken aback, even though I have heard something like this before. (No, it was not Sarah Palin.) In fact, I have a mailer on my wall that announces “Don’t talk to the media…” On the reverse, is the line “until you talk to Gerard Braud.” Gerard is an IABC member I met earlier this year, who conducts this kind of thing, and his point is that you could tell an honest story, stripped of spin, and still have a great media experience.
Which brings me to the whole point of this. A survey of journalists just out (Bulldog Reporter/Techgroup International) on media relations practices. It’s an excellent insight into how journos think, what they do to connect (or avoid) PR spin, and how they stay on top of stories using social media. Among the findings:
- Only 29% of journalists read 5 blogs or more to keep up with their beat. The positive side of this is that 75% read one blog or more. One year ago, about 26% read 5 or more blogs.
- RSS usage us low (58.4% don’t use it), journalists abhor phone calls from PR people, and those not familiar with their media outlet.
- Interestingly, newspapers are still a key source of news for them (so will all those newspapers-are-dead promoters stop making it seem worse than it is?), and a large number of them are big on Electronic News Kits.
So if you don’t want to share the same oxygen as journalists, at least try to make it easy to let them suck in your RSS feed from a distance. And that’s not just your from press releases, and your ‘about us’ page, but from your white papers, interviews, podcasts, blogs & thought pieces (same thing, huh?). We may not trust them, but we could trust them to do their ground work if we give them less puff pieces.
Hey, I can afford to say this because I wear two hats. I communicate with the media on behalf of whom I represent, but I also interview companies for my freelance writing.