My as yet unpatented Holy Golden B.H.A.B.P.I. Rules of media relations:
1) Be familiar with the media landscape
2) Have an idea what kind of stories will appeal to individual media
3) Appreciate different journalists’ agendas
4) Be equally comfortable selling in a story to FHM as to the FT
5) Package the story to make it as appealing as a last Rolo
6) If they say no, replace receiver, alter story slightly and call again using seductive female voice
One of my most enjoyable times in PR involved working two days a week selling-in FHM’s ‘High Street Honeys’ to the tabloids, and spending the remaining three days selling in European broadcast news interviews with TIME Magazine journalists embedded with the coalition troops in Baghdad.
I had an equally fun time hired to carry out freelance media relations in every department of Hill and Knowlton’s London office over a period of two years. I worked on everything from All Bran to kangaroo meat.
Previous clients will confirm that I am not subject to the false-promise syndrome which is worryingly prevalent in the world of public relations. If someone tells you they can get you in the FT for the launch of a pen, be dubious.
I write a decent press release and if I don’t think the story is strong enough I’ll come up with ideas to make it so.
I’m not a fan of jargon. People who use the words ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘global’ in a press release need a slap. Anyone who attempts to ‘leverage a robust solution’ should desist from verbalising Armitage Shanks defecation interface scenarios.