The most important thing I do in my business is pay very close attention whenever I speak with a Media Relations Master.
They come in many packages, each with his or her own personality and background. But I’ve come to notice certain things they all tend to say. They don’t always even realize that these seemingly tiny habits are key to their consistent success.
One such throwaway line I heard a Media Relations Master say recently was, “I just make sure I get out of my office and go out and visit with people.”
And I realized I’d heard the same thing from many others: I get out of my office (or my cube).
What do they do with this “out of office” time? They might:
- Sit in on meetings of other departments – nothing to share, no announcements to make
- Find different people to sit with in the cafeteria or casually plop down with someone in a break room for a few minutes
- Attend some kind of exhibition or presentation of successes, even if it’s after-hours
- Simply ask for a one-on-one meeting for 30 minutes “to get oriented to the great work your team is doing.”
But what if I’m a contractor/work from home/at an agency?
Definitely makes this tougher. I asked this MRM about that, because she came up through big NYC agencies. She said to work even harder to get this kind of face time, even if it’s only FaceTime. If you can’t drive over and do sit-down meetings with people beyond the client contact, ask for video conferences. “Make yourself an indispensable part of their team,” she said.
You can’t view this approach as yielding immediate results – you’ll quit too early. But when you do it consistently over a few months, the time you invested starts multiplying and coming back to you in spades. You start to get these kinds of benefits:
- You suddenly have two dozen “reporters” sprinkled throughout the organization that are tipping you off to interesting customers, cool human interest angles, and extraordinary employee achievement. (Granted, you also breed one or two who keep sending you lame stuff, but since when was PR life perfect 🙂
- You start getting a heads up on something cool or potentially controversial BEFORE it happens, rather than continually finding out too late to steer the communications around it.
- Peers and even bosses start respecting the value of PR more and asking more for your input.
Back to this particular Media Relations Master conversation. After we hung up with each other, she forwarded me an email she received while we’d been speaking. It was from one of the other directors at the company and the subject line was a person’s name. It said, “Today I met this [customer]. I know you’re looking for interesting back stories and here is his . . .”
P.S. Are you thinking, “Nobody has time for that”? Then you might be in a situation that’s simply not conducive to achieving Media Relations Mastery. Or you might be letting distractions like email and social media keep you from the high-leverage activities that will bring you the biggest results and make the biggest impact on your career. I don’t know, but I bet you do.
The most important thing I do in my business is pay very close attention whenever I speak with a Media Relations Master. They come in many packages, each with his or her own personality and background. But I’ve come to notice certain things they all tend to say. They don’t always even realize that these […]