Regardless of seniority, the ultimate goal is to be transparent and foster trust. When it comes to media relations, every PR pro must have that objective in mind.
Tish Carmona, Washington Redskins
Media is earned through a variety of ways, but one of the best paths to earned media is through the relationships we build and cultivate. All PR professionals understand the value of positive relationships between media outlets and our organizations or clients. These relationships are how we succeed.
While this millennial communicator is fortunate that her education has focused on so many modern tools and strategies, I never forget the foundational importance of relationship building and how vital it is for that to extend to the C-suite of an organization because of the true and genuine trust that follows as a result. I’ve certainly seen that firsthand since graduating and getting a job.
Something that has resonated with media members who have consistently covered the Washington Redskins over the years is the recent commitment to transparency from the top down.
We’ve hosted several media receptions and casual gatherings where the press could talk directly with the C-level executives. Journalists have come away from those events feeling more valued than ever before, and the mutual respect and understanding is organic because we tore down the barriers of what PR typically has been known to do. This has facilitated more positive coverage as we let the media gain insight straight from the source, rather than speculating on what might be going on behind the scenes as too many pro sports team are still inclined to do.
Make it happen
While this exposure to the C-suite isn’t for everyone, if it is a viable possibility, make it happen. Where the perspective of the incoming next generation of communicators can factor in is in evaluating the current media climate surrounding your client or organization and bringing new ideas to the table. Younger PR pros can merge the appreciation of relationship building with new ideas on how to achieve it, particularly with influencers and the new breed of “media” that exists solely on digital channels.
Younger professionals also have fresh ideas on what clients will approve – ideas that can make the media think about your client in an entirely new light. Young pros should be encouraged to bring these perspectives to the table.
Media can be earned through various strategies. Experienced professionals have some great ideas, as does the next generation of communicators. At the heart of all that is the importance of building relationships with the media. Regardless of seniority, the ultimate goal is to be transparent and foster trust. When it comes to media relations, every PR pro must have that objective in mind.
Tish Carmona is a corporate comms manager with the NFL’s Washington Redskins and PRWeek’s 2017 Outstanding Student.