What is media liaison and why is it important to know how to liaise with the media?
Media liaison has become one of my favourite tasks as an intern so far. As I enjoy conversing with people, media liaison suits me well and I look forward to the task whenever it arises.
You might be wondering, “what is media liaison?” Well, media liaison involves communicating with various media and developing relationships with them either over the telephone or email. Telephone and email etiquette is a very important aspect when dealing with the media, as having the correct etiquette not only contributes to overall positive communication, but it’s also the foundation on which relationships are built.
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Here are a few etiquette tips that I’ve learnt are important when engaging in media liaison:
- You need to make sure that your media lists are up to date with the correct contact details – this is important, as journalists often move publications or beats. It also avoids having to spend unnecessary time on the phone trying to find the correct person.
- Remember to always greet the person on the line with your name and which company you are from, as well as asking them how they are – e.g. “Good morning, you are speaking to Keri from MANGO-OMC, how are you?”. It is also a good idea to check that they have a few minutes to talk with you, this makes them feel at ease and not like they are on a sales call.
- Be friendly and approachable – let the person think that you are smiling on the other end of the phone or email. This will make the person interested and willing to help you as much as they can.
- Stick to your point and make sure that it’s as short and sweet as possible – journalists receive many calls each day and the last thing they feel like doing is listening to a long-winded call from a PR agency.
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Media liaison is a vital task in our industry and it’s important to know that it’s not just another phone call or email. Remember: always be respectable. You are representing the agency that you work for and it would be a pity for you to create a bad impression. It’s also important to make sure that your story or pitch is of value to the journalist. A pitch should include all the necessary details about the press release or article that you are offering the journalist, however it should be as straight forward and to the point as possible. It would be to your advantage to ensure that you have the details of the journalist that you think your pitch would suit most, as sometimes when a pitch reaches the incorrect person, it’s merely ignored.
As far as my experience goes, liaising with the media is an enjoyable task, especially when they reciprocate the friendliness and are willing to assist in publishing your article or interview. Telephone and email etiquette can create a positive impression of your agency and it could contribute to journalists’ willingness to work with you in the future. Brushing up on your telephone and email skills will definitely benefit you in the big world of PR. If you have any tips on media liaison, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!