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Practicing Good Media Relations: Tips from Miami’s Radio, TV and Print Leaders

Nathalie Romero, APR

Nathalie Romero, APR, shares seven tips for becoming a "go-to" public relations professional she gathered at PRSA Miami's February professional development event.

Good media relations is engrained into what public relations practitioners do every day. Our relationship with press is vital to the success our clients entrust us to deliver, but the ever-changing media landscape is making it a little bit harder for us to get a handle of which journalists are working where, who prefers what pitch method – all while monitoring the 24-hour news cycle.

During PRSA Miami’s February professional development event, PR practitioners asked for tips on becoming that ‘go-to’ PR pro from a panel of media leaders: The Miami Herald’s managing editor, Rick Hirsh, Univision Radio’s #1 drive-time show host, Bernadette Pardo, and WPLG-10’s assignment editor and futures planner, Kerry Weston. And not surprisingly, most of their tips go back to downright ethical and diligent public relations work.

Here are my favorite seven tips:

  1. Back to basics: make sure you put the most important information up top. Journalists get a lot of emails and skim through most of it so we have to make sure to grab their attention from the very beginning.
  2. Don’t pitch the entire staff of each news outlet the same story. Do your research and pitch the journalists that cover that specific beat.
  3. Don’t be late on a story: keep tabs on what is being said in your market or industry to find the right angle and story opportunities.
  4. Leave your stereotypes at the door: If your source is the best at what he/she does the journalist will want to secure an interview regardless of the language they speak, ethnicity, etc.
  5. Do not lie. Ever. If you don’t know the answer to a question a journalist asks, say you’ll get the answer, find it, and get back to them immediately.
  6. Don’t give away exclusives. If you promise a journalist an exclusive, there shouldn’t be any other media outlet there when he/she arrives. You’re building relationships with these journalists and they need to know they can trust you.
  7. Find a great human-interest story. Every good story has more than just a talking head. Factor in the human element, providing readers with an angle they can relate to.  

A reporter’s job is to relay the news – the good, the bad and the ugly. As PR pros, it is our job to build the right relationships with the journalists with whom we can share success stories, and mediate shortcomings. Delivering on these tips is just a step in the right direction so that our journalists keep us top-of-mind when they need the next great story.

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In Memoriam: Richard Weiner, APR, Fellow PRSA


Richard Weiner, APR, Fellow PRSA, a distinguished 50-plus year member of PRSA and a recipient of the Society’s prestigious Gold Anvil Award, died on Jan. 29 in Miami Beach, Fla. He was 86.

Weiner’s professional and volunteer achievements were varied and significant. He joined Ruder & Finn in 1953 at a salary of $100 a week, and later became a senior vice president and partner there.

In 1968, he founded his own firm, Richard Weiner, Inc., that by 1985 had become one of the 15 largest PR agencies in the United States. The firm was noted for product publicity on behalf of blue-chip clients, including several in the health care field, and launched such famous campaigns as the Cabbage Patch Kids introduction in the early 1980s. 
In 1986, Weiner sold the company to the BBDO advertising agency, which then merged with Doyle Dane Bernbach and Needham Harper to form the Omnicom Group. Omnicom merged its three PR companies — Weiner (the largest), Doremus and Porter Novelli — and named the new entity Porter Novelli, where Weiner maintained an office until 2002 when he moved to Florida. 
In addition to his consulting work, Weiner was the author of 23 books, and conducted more than 100 workshops for PRSA and other groups such as the National Institutes of Health. He taught public relations at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business, the first such offering for MBA students.

Weiner was one of the first PR professionals to be Accredited by PRSA, and in 1990 was inducted into the College of Fellows and awarded PRSA’s highest individual honor, the Gold Anvil. He received eight Silver Anvils for his work on behalf of clients. 
His writing appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Writer’s Digest, among other publications. He contributed a monthly column to PR Tactics for more than five years called “Media Jargon.”

Most recently, he had been at work on a book about gossip, based on his research in the social sciences, and maintained The Gossip Book in addition to serving as a valued mentor to scores of professionals across the country.

Weiner was born on May 10, 1927, in Brooklyn, N.Y. After graduating from high school, he started at the University of Wisconsin at age 16.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Florence, a writer, and two daughters, Jessica Lampert and Stephanie Weiner, as well as four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

This post was originally published in the online edition of PRSA Tactics.

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