Bookmark and Share

Pugliese on PR: Establishing a working relations with the media

By Tina L. Pugliese, APR, Pugliese Public Relations

tina puglieseThe relationship with the media is always symbiotic. The important thing to keep in mind when dealing with the media is that they have a job to do, just as you do.  The most successful relationship and the most effective means of delivering a message to the public is to build a relationship of understanding and respect. Getting to know your local reporters is a good way to build that relationship.

Do your homework — know who to talk to:Obtain current media directories from the public library or online. Research the names of writers and editors at the local newspapers and online publications. Identify the assignment editors at television stations and news directors at radio stations.  They make decisions on which stories will run.  Public service directors can also be helpful, as they usually coordinate community talk shows on the station. Blogs and bloggers are increasingly important media outlets.  Keep track of the ones that cover your issue(s).

Spend time educating the media: Provide the reporter with background information on the issues you want covered.  Share some local and statewide statistics to reinforce your point.

Position yourself and your organization as a resource:Being knowledgeable, professional and helpful is the best way to build and maintain a good relationship with a reporter.  Anticipate and know the information reporters will want.  Be prepared to localize national or statewide statistics with local statistics or anecdotes.

Think from the media perspective: When you work with media on a larger scale by pitching stories or writing op-ed pieces, it is important to consider things from the media perspective. Here are some of the things an editor or reporter will consider when assessing the value of your story: 

— Significance or impact. How many people does the event or idea affect and how seriously does it affect them? To what extent is the information useful to their audience? Does anyone care?

— Proximity or locality.  It is news only if it is happening within the media outlet’s circulation or viewership area.

— Timeliness. Today’s news may be stale tomorrow. 

— Prominence. Names do not always make news. Still, happenings that involve well-known people or institutions are likely to be interesting even if not important.
Human Interest – Human interest stories appeal to emotion. They aim to evoke responses, such as amusement or sadness.

Know the difference between hard and soft news. News can be any type of story that is of interest to your local media outlets.  The key when considering sending a news story to the media is does it have a local impact? Your local media are only interested in stories for or about the community reader, listener or viewer.

Hard news is usually information that was previously unknown, a noteworthy event, a controversy, the release of a study and the like.  

Soft news or human interest stories include individuals, organizations or families involved in something that may be of interest to the community.

Tina Pugliese's columns on public relations appear in Palm Beach every other Monday. Her previous column can be found here.

Tina L. Pugliese, APR is an executive coach and counselor for Pugliese Public Relations, a communications firm in Boynton Beach, Florida. Pugliese is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and is the author of the book, Public Relations for Pharmacists, and e-books, Marketing Your Business for Success, How To Work With The Media, Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs, and the PR Survival Kit.  She can be reached at (561) 889-3575 and by email at  Her web site is

Article excerpted from e-book, PR Survival Kit, by Tina L. Pugliese, APR.



Palm Beach Phoenix Mac Users Group ad

Keep up with YOUR community. Receive our FREE email newsletters!
For Email Marketing you can trust

Follow us on TwitterThe Outlok effective affordable advertising

Openings at $75K to $500K+


mac corner...essential reading for apple computer users
palm beach
SEPTEMBER 2010 click to go home
Delray's Online Business and Community Newspaper
click to go back to the top