I know, I know, it’s been a while.
Since I’ve last blogged, an awful lot has happened so please excuse my absence in the last few months.
No matter what I’ve said before about needing a forum to unleash my passion for PR, or a channel where I can flourish as a writer, really, I started this blog for one reason and one reason alone. To get a job.
I was told (by a very wise man) that if I started a blog it would greatly improve my chances of finding paid work in this competitive industry after graduating.
And you know what? It helped. It really did. It led to networking, gave me great talking points in interviews and actually (probably) improved my writing skills along the way.
So then, I got a job. And it’s been a bit neglected. I mean, it’s served its purpose; my foot is in the door, why go on?
I have 2 reasons:
- My housemates are all uni students who spend their weeknights partying studying. So when I come home and have my three free hours before heading to bed at 9.30, I need something to do (besides pretending I’m shopping by filling an online cart but then never actually buying it.)
- I have a recent bout of fury I’d like to unleash.
You may remember my post about me tricking people into thinking I fixed ATMs for a living because so many people simply have no clue what PR is (if not, you can read about it here)
Well, you can consider this a part two. Now that we’re all on the same page about what it is, you get to receive a lesson on what we do (lucky you!)
You see, this week after being in my first real communications job for just over a month, I got an article in the paper, and I was so excited!
Now there were two main misconceptions that kept popping up following this that I am just DYING to straighten out.
- I am not a journalist. People keep asking why my name isn’t printed next to the article, or pointing out that there’s a grammar mistake.
While I completely appreciate a keen eye for grammar and spelling… I didn’t actually write the story itself. The process goes like this: I write a media release that’s packed with information, quotes, and our company’s messages. This is like in FYI to the journalist, who then CHOOSES to write an article and can use bits of the information I’ve provided them.
If you’re lucky, they’ll use the quotes that you’ve written or even use some of your paragraphs word-for-word; when this happens, it’s pretty awesome!
Point is, I don’t write articles, I write media releases – these are almost like a persuasion piece to really make the journalist want to write a story about this awesome thing I’m making sound so good… that there is the victory!
Which brings me to my next point…
- It’s not that easy to do. Consumers reading a story in the newspaper are 3 times as likely to be persuaded than when seeing an advertisement. And it’s free, which is totally preferable to companies than spending thousands of dollars to make thousands more to place ads. Therefore, this is why national papers are sent hundreds of media releases every day.
Now remember this: their job is to sell their paper. So if you pay money so buy a paper, you are hoping that it will do one or both of:
a) entertain you; or
b) inform you about current news and events relevant to you
So then when you open it up and the top story is all about how delicious the new meal at McDonalds is are you likely to be happy? Nope.
The story you send the journalist needs to be relevant, current, well written, and something that is really genuinely newsworthy and interesting to read. Many executives still don’t understand this when they just tell their communications team to ‘get this in the paper.’
Doesn’t work that way.
Getting a story to run is a pretty big achievement. That relies on so many factors – many that are completely out of our control!
So if you’ve made it this far through my rant, thanks for sticking around, much appreciated (I imagine the few who got this far are uni students in exams who are absolutely desperate for a means of procrastination and even resorting to this, but I appreciate it never the less.)
Now that I’ve got that out of the way I think I might change the style of this blog a bit, less PR focused and maybe some more opinion pieces because I know you’re all DYING to hear my exciting views on the world!
Until then, please feel free to comment below!