Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Managing Public Relations

When we had to disengage our PR agency during the same time last year, I was fighting tooth and nail with my manager for the need of a PR agency. Received one line of message from the top man – NO – please handle it
I started from ground zero as PR is always considered as being tricky and any error in external messaging may prove to be fatal for the brand. Over the course of time I managed to come to terms with the reality and worked on a plan to build
I am articulating few learning’s
1)Priority – Media loves to meet the big bosses. Always give priority to the reporters and ensure you follow up the story with them.
2)Key Media List – Thanks to my media buying agency I managed to get the contact list of all media across the country and I started making the database of key media people by calling them and establishing contacts with them.
3) Reporters – treat them like gold. Answer them in a respectful, pleasant tone. Do not make negative comments.
4) Messaging – unlike paid medium we do not have control over press messaging. The reporters always tend to look at the angle at which it would entice readers interest and would skew it – never complain to reporters however, if there is a major deviation on facts please flag it to them
5) Time Lines - Be realistic about the coverage and time lines. As they are subject to editorial deadlines, breaking news and also sensitivity of the topic. Pick up your own copies of your print/articles. Never ask the reporter
6) Read - Spend time reading, and ensure you are up to date on your industries news. And never react to gossips or grapevine
7) Acknowledge – always ensure to thank reporters by sending a personal mail or through a telephone call. This is one of the key differentiator in forging an effective association with media.
I wish to thank my senior management for the faith they have kept in me and also with this opportunity of handling my banks public relations which I am positive will go a very long way in my career