By Lauren Busley
As overt and shameless mediaphiles, we PR folks jump at any chance to get an inside look at how the media machine works. You had us at hello, you are the wind beneath our wings, we just can’t quit you and we’d like to wear your skin, media. So, when PRSA hosted a panel titled “Inside the Newsroom of All Things D,” I was ready to rock. Oh, and did I mention this event was held on the Facebook campus? That’s right – the opportunity to check-in at Facebook, on Facebook was not overlooked. Score.
While we waited for the panel to begin, most of my PR brethren were locked to their phones furiously reading Google alerts, re-tweeting and having other out-of-body, media driven experiences. And then, the All Things D panel of Mike Isaac, Ina Fried, Liz Gannes and Beth Callaghan arrived on stage to answer all our burning questions.“How do you like to be pitched?”
“So...what exactly is your beat?”
“What are you working on right now?”
“What makes for a good story?”
You don’t have to be MacGyver to realize that everyone repackaged the same question in a different way. All we really want to know is “What do we have to do to get you to write about our clients?”
Then, Mike Isaac said something amazing. Brilliant, in fact. I half expected him to drop the mic and walk off of the stage. He said, “Remember that we are both humans just trying to work together in this rat race of news.”
And, here’s what’s beautiful about that.
Obsession with news, and those who make it, comes with the territory. We are junkies with powerful enablers like The Huffington Post, Associated Press and New York Times. While we are all still waiting for the technology that delivers news alerts directly to our frontal lobes in real-time, it is easy to forget what’s behind the curtain at Oz – a real person.
There is no trick, or secret code to good public relations. While we may wish there was a formula of X + Z = WSJ coverage, let’s be real – none of us went into PR because of our stellar math skills. If given a choice between the superpowers of flight or invisibility, most PR folks would ask – which can I trade for a psychic connection with media?
PR superheroes aren’t those who live inside their news feed 24-hours a day. They are the ones who simply tell a compelling story, to the right people, grounded in the real world with relatable, human elements.
Heck, I could get used to this human thing. Now, if I could just figure out how to spin it.
Posted by Dara Sklar on October 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM