I read an interesting PR Daily article on Monday titled, As lines between advertising and news blur, what’s a PR pro to do?, and it really got me thinking, what will we do?
The article starts off with a simple explanation of unpaid and paid media: Editorial is unpaid. Advertorial is paid….if only it were that simple now a day. As publicists, we spend hours perfecting our media lists, making sure we have the most relevant contacts to pitch and reading over articles of journalists whose works caught our interest. With that comes great results and that satisfying feeling of telling our clients that we’ve got their story out and secured EARNED coverage…nothing beats that for a publicist!
Now, let’s pause for a second and back track. Think about the moment when you’ve got a reporter interested, and imagine he or she coming back to you with this response, “First I have to get consent from the advertising department for that media outlet.” Hold up, what?! This makes absolutely no sense, but it’s beginning to happen. Thankfully, I have yet to encounter this road block…but let’s be aware of what can do as publicists is we receive this response. I provided a few tips from the article below:
Communicate with your media contacts: As PR practitioners, we need to communicate with our media relationships, that’s why it’s a relationship, right? If your media contact receives push back from advertising, encourage open communication. Share what you learned from your contact with your client.
Educate your client: Let your client know that this may happen sooner or later. Ultimately, media is a business.
Educate yourself: If your client has an advertising strategy, it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with their ad plan. You will benefit from knowing your client’s advertising strategy. According to the article, “with awareness of their ad approach, you can better target potential media outlets for coverage, and better tailor pitches to journalists.”
Food for thought!