By Yumnah Syed
One of the greatest things about working in public relations is how fast things change. That said, it’s probably one of the most difficult aspects of working in the PR industry as well. With today’s ever-changing media landscape, PR professionals are faced with the challenge of keeping up with the shifting needs and wants of the audiences they serve and the media connections they reach out to.
I recently wrapped up a position as a PR Assistant at a boutique PR agency here in LA. One thing I noticed early on in the job was that the response to sending out a traditional press release was slower than when we sent out targeted pitches. In college, I remember a strong emphasis being placed on the importance of sending out press releases to media targets, but having worked various positions in the PR industry, my experiences have shown otherwise.
Along with sending out targeted pitches that might appeal to each specific outlet and/or reporter, it’s important to cultivate relationships with outlets and reporters. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – connect on any and every social media you can. Using hashtags for a conference or event is a great way to get on peoples’ radar. Once you connect with someone on social media you can get a sense where their interests are, and use that as background information to break the ice in a targeted pitch. Adding a slight personal touch to a pitch email could be what gets you a response over another pitch.