Wednesday, November 21, 2007

GR Chamber Publicity Event

I moderated an event titled the "Power of Publicity" for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce yesterday. Panelists included Anton Wishik of Gemini Publications, Deborahh Johnson Wood of Rapid Growth, Diane Kniowski of WOOD TV 8 (and other stations) and Kelly Smallagan Mass of Lambert Edwards and Associates.

There was a good 90-minute discussion, including a long and entertaining back-story on the return of the weather ball. But the essential reminders included the following:

  • the vast majority of press releases are emailed, and journalists prefer that;
  • photos, audio and video are appreciated and used, particularly on media Web sites;
  • press releases are not dead--well-written ones are better than short pitches because, if interested in the story, the journalist is saved the work of asking for more information;
  • include a contact or several sources for follow up, and be available;
  • journalists and PR people DO get along--it's politicians who spin. PR pros--honest ones--help journalists and are appreciated;
  • news releases only work if its news; there are other ways to reach your publics if its not. Media relations is a fraction of what PR people do these days. PR is far more than publicity.
  • getting a degree in public relations at, say, Grand Valley State University, is essential.

    OK, I added that last one. Happy Thanksgiving.
  • No comments: