A lot of people (including my own family!) ask me what public relations is and what I do all day. My initial reaction is to grab the closest magazine or newspaper and explain how certain stories or products ended up on their pages. Other times I start by saying that I am the company or brand’s messenger, sharing their story with the media. I don’t pay for ads and I don’t plan parties – except for my own birthday, of course.
The more I think about it, the more I relate working in PR to one of my favorite hobbies: cooking and baking. There is a recipe for everything and even though I alter each set of step-by-step instructions I receive to make it my own and work for me, the base ingredients are still the same.
- Start with ½ lb. of homework. Research is the key to success and a great PR pie. Knowing the media, new publications, who is freelancing for who, and the lead times for editors is essential to helping them create amazing stories.
- Next, add 2 TBSP of a story – a strong story. What part of this brand or product is going to be the most newsworthy to a certain editor? Telling a business reporter about the new trend for crop tops is not going to go over well and I don’t want to be there when you get their justifiable irritated response. Build your story with all of the important details in a simple format for the editor to utilize.
- Throw in a pinch of personality. Imagine receiving over 2,000 emails a day (or an hour) and what would push you to open one over another. Making the email personal to the editor (or dare I say entertaining) is always helpful when trying to get their attention.
- Smother it with follow up. This component is essential to a great end result. Many people would rather receive no response at all compared to a “no” – I’m exactly the opposite. When an editor passes on a story, I get the opportunity to ask for feedback that will help me figure out my next move.
- Garnish with being a resource and a friend. Asking a friend for a favor every week will result in you being friendless pretty soon. It is more than providing editors and producers with every detail, image and idea for your clients; it’s also about being a resource for anything they need. Building this relationship over time is part of the beauty of PR – it’s not over when the interview ends.
Place this beauty in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and enjoy!