This week I attended a PRCA B2B writing course. This was a great session and our trainer, Adrian Wheeler, covered a number of topical issues that young PRs are now facing. Themes we explored included attracting journalist interest with particular writing techniques, warning clients off 'sales' language, injecting colour into business-to-business content, and which writers we should start stalking to help mould our craft. A point that we also touched on was media champion clients - the spokespeople that the media is always happy to hear from.
Adrian's passing comment on media champions intrigued me. He asked - 'are any of your clients media champions?' I certainly have clients that I would call media champions and are invaluable to me. I know I can always count on them for interesting, thought provoking comments, and the level of media collaboration we have with these individuals is brilliant.
So, what will help create more media champions?
- Be open and daring: it's not about putting your company in an awkward situation, but it is about saying something new. It doesn't always need to be controversial, but it can't be the same comment that was released two months prior.
- Twitter works: some people hate Twitter, and it is usually full of GIFs or conversations that you don't want to get involved with. But when you wade through the irrelevance, there are conversations that are insightful and pertinent to your industry. Follow your favourite journalists, get involved in the conversations that matter to you and make yourself heard.
- Work with us: your press office might suggest topics that aren't quite right for you, but I like to think PR folk learn from their mistakes. They're there to assist you and help get you in front of the right influencers. Be honest with your team and share topics that you want to talk about. Send over a story, flag up a subject - they'll be honest and tell you if it'll appeal. By working together, your relationship and media targeting will be more successful in the long run.
There will always be more room for media champions, and I'd argue it's more efficient and more enjoyable for these people if they work with their PR teams to that end. So drop your PR team a line, they'd love to hear what you're dying to talk about.