Phrases in the communications world like, “In today’s media landscape” or, “under the social media lens” are so common that one might think we’ve entered an alternate universe for how to interact with influencers and the media. Thankfully, a recent State of the Media report reinforces that some of the basic skills of human interaction and public relations 101 class still ring true.
For example, it is more important than ever to treat journalists as individuals, understand their role and perspectives and lighten their workload by providing relevant, interesting, well-packaged information. With the appetite for online content on websites, YouTube and Facebook, the strategy of illustrating your story and protecting corporate reputation with images is more critical than ever. Another handy media relations tip is that journalists do not want to receive story pitches through social media and would rather keep their Facebook friends to well, friends.
The report’s findings indicate that navigating “today’s media landscape” from a media relations standpoint is less foreign than some might suggest. I can’t help but wonder, however, if the real challenge for communications professionals is less about embracing new communications platforms and more about eliminating some of the steadfast tools for the past or learning to use them differently—think iron-curtain media statement or the shot-gun blast press release. What is apparent from the best practice examples out there and this study is that treating people like people in both your words and your behavior almost always win.