Three Tips on How to Run a PR Agency that is Ready for Growth and the Challenges Ahead

Public relations professionals are responsible for positively positioning clients and their organizations in the eyes of their target audiences as well as getting the media interested in subscribing to their point-view. Many people see this as an exciting profession and it is. Leaders get to represent clients that fit their personal beliefs and passions while helping shape entire companies or even industries from the ground up—all exciting stuff.

But with all these significant aspects, many things come with running a public relations agency. Looking back at our experience over the past eight years of running NRPR, here’s what we’ve learned about running a solid PR organization:

Communicate the Vision and Goals

Anyone running a good PR agency will tell you about the importance of not only having a good vision but also being able to translate it. That means communicating your vision and goals to your team so that everyone understands what the marching orders are, not only on a yearly, but also on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. Without knowing where you are headed, many short-term (and long-term) challenges will keep popping up that will prevent your agency from growing.

Motivating your team around that vision involves communicating it while encouraging them to do their best. This can take the shape of a vision statement that grounds and unifies everyone around a shared direction. 

A wide-ranging vision shouldn't try to communicate all the road map details, nor every single step. Instead, the vision encapsulates the company's dream in a simple, general idea. Then, to make it implementable, you can set small attainable goals that align with the bigger strategy. 

To this end, it is highly recommended that you communicate with your team daily through early morning meetings so team members can generally know what's going on with all the accounts, not just their own. Another valuable component involves requiring your team members to turn in daily to-do lists so you can be aware of what they are working on and adjust according to the week's or month's strategy.

NRPR recognizes that the PR environment can be stressful, perhaps more so than many industries. However, building a successful team in this environment involves positive engagement. It also consists in motivating your employees to work as a team. 

Taking the time to urge your employees to be on the same page, remaining encouraged and motivated, as well as staying team-oriented will help your company attain its goals.

Learn to Delegate

As with many entrepreneurs, PR agency owners can put too much on their plate and get stressed out from too much work while not having enough time. This is why it's necessary to establish a clear team structure so that you could know how to delegate across the teams based on job function and roles.  Of course, this means clearly delineating the job roles.

On the other hand, many fall into the trap of just delegating without taking the time to learn more about the functionality of their team and what they can take on so that the delegating can be more effective.

Also, it would help if you impress upon your team members that they are not entirely confined to their assigned roles or job titles. While each one may have specific responsibilities, there can be flexibility in what assignments they might take on, again, depending on their unique set of skills and interests.

While delegating may sound great on paper, it can be challenging for many leaders in practice. They may say things like, “It’s just going to take too long to show someone how to do it, so I’ll do it myself. Besides, I can do it better.” But, as mentioned, this strategy is not sustainable — you risk burning yourself out while preventing the development of your teams’ capabilities. 

Even though resisting the temptation of "taking it all on" is key, a leader should also distinguish between a teachable moment vs. a critical moment. A critical moment is when one of your team members does something wrong in a "life or death" situation involving the client, and you have to jump in, intervene, and move on as quickly as possible. 

Have Systems In Place To Implement

High pressure, deadlines, and incomplete information is the reality of any PR agency owner. Under these circumstances, good decision-making skills are crucial as your business can’t afford to get it wrong. Developing these skills involves cultivating emotional intelligence while thinking about how your decision will impact your team and clients.

Another critical aspect of implementation is putting together guidelines or best practices that employees can follow. These can be compiled into an Excel file, organized by topic, and be made accessible for everyone to study, adhere to, and problem-solve with. 

Best practices are especially crucial in a grueling agency environment where you don’t have time to coach everybody. In this case, you need to have resources in place that your employees can reference quickly and easily. This will help reinforce training to make them more effective while fostering the growth of your company.

Finally, part of moving your organization forward involves handling your information flow. A leader can quickly get hundreds of emails per day. To manage the flow of information, it is necessary to adhere to a system. At NRPR, we recommend starting with the oldest emails received, and properly filing according to a specific topic. Work with your team for a way to best classify your emails. Then, ensure that you can answer those that need responses right away. 

Delegation also works here, so make sure you pass emails to the proper subject matter expert. Usually, they are more involved in working on that specific issue or client. The goal should be to make this time as compact as possible. Organization is critical here.

Hopefully, the blueprint shared in this post will help you build a solid organization that considers your two most important assets: your clients and your team. Though these tips are not easy to implement, provided you are ready to invest the needed time and effort, you can set yourself up for growth and tackle more significant challenges ahead.

The Beginning of the Year is the Time to Consider Five Things Your PR Firm Should Do to Thrive in 2022

The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time for many PR agencies to consider the changes that have taken place in the world around us, and arrive at a renewed growth strategy to move forward.

Today’s public relations professionals are charged with far more than ever before. To help you keep up, the team at NRPR has put together five things you can do to help ensure success in 2022:

Develop Relationships with Your Team, Clients, and Media

The first step is to find better ways to connect and communicate with your team. Studies have confirmed that effective communication positively affects employee productivity and trust. In fact, according to a McKinsey report, well-connected teams saw their productivity increase by 20-25%.

Considering the challenges of remote work, platforms like Slack have proven to be a great supplement to Zoom and regular email to help socially distanced teams stay more connected. With Slack one can choose to communicate with either individuals or groups in real-time. This enables better collaborations in real-time and can help foster better relationships between your employees.

Alongside your team, it is important to connect and stay in touch with your clients and the media. In fact, for many the very definition of public relations should be updated to mean public relationships, yet many don’t make time for this anymore. For example, it is standard practice for PR professionals to maintain a relationship with journalists over email, yet only 47% meet in person. While it may feel time-consuming, this level of investment can help establish life-long relationships that bring media opportunities to your doorstep for clients and journalists alike.

Help Your Clients Become Thought Leaders

 An important strategy to help your agency grow involves increasing the visibility of your clients as thought leaders in their fields. A study by LinkedIn indicated that more than half (55%) of business decision-makers said they had increased the business they do with an organization based on their thought leadership. 

If executives are well-versed in the latest trends and news driving their industries, communicating their commentary or opinion in a way that interests their target audience can elevate them as an authority. The key with thought leadership content is that it can't be general. Instead, work with your client to help them unearth a specific specialty or set of experiences that set them apart. 

Suppose your clients have had a long career in influencer marketing, for example, and can speak from a position of experience. That is something valuable to leverage in developing personas that speak to what audiences need. To stand out using this strategy, the thought leader must have a unique message that addresses an audience's unmet needs or questions and ensures that it resonates with readers, viewers, or listeners.

Stay on Top of the Latest Trends/Technology

The tech world is continually evolving, affecting every industry, and PR is no exception. With new, emerging trends, keeping up-to-date can be tricky. Some helpful digital resources that can help you identify new technologies are many of the media outlets that you may already be working with.

A good one is Thoughtworks Tech Radar. Here, you can find profiles on companies within the tech industry as well as case studies on current technologies, those that are about to debut or are still in early adoption. Other great publications include TechCrunch and Recode. Relevant video content from Two Minute Papers, The Verge, and WIRED is another way to stay informed.

Your own clients may already be a network of industry experts you can turn to for guidance. Your account managers can also help everyone stay current with technology. Many are constantly involved in reading and understanding how your clients’ technologies can be implemented in real-life solutions and situations. Scheduling brainstorming and team discussions can not only help you understand a client better, but also how their technology can potentially be of help to the agency. Also motivate your team members to read up more on the latest emerging technology trends.

Professional Development

To give your agency the edge, the value of professional development for your employees cannot be overstated. Those at the top could benefit from this as well, even if the time investment is only a few hours per week.

One way is to earn related or relevant online certificates. There are a number of programs out there, including Coursera, that offer professional programs that allow you to build industry-specific skills beyond what you may have learned through formal education.

If enrolling in a certificate or degree program is too time-consuming, a la carte coursework may be another option, allowing you to fold your continuing education into your busy life.

Volunteering to speak at conferences or even hosting a podcast can help you develop your public speaking ability in real-time. Plus, it gives you a way to continue your thought leadership efforts to trumpet your unique perspective on your industry.

Create a Feedback Loop

 Listening to the feedback of employees, clients, and media members can help the agency continue to improve its processes, from pitching to managing client communication. When it comes to soliciting feedback from employees, this could take the form of one-on-one meetings on a weekly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Gathering employee feedback is valuable because you can use it to improve your firm’s overall culture, which can make employees more satisfied and productive.  

Obtaining client and media feedback can be a little trickier, especially since there is no incentive from outlets to communicate on how one comes across. There are more involved ways to obtain this information. One way is to leverage your podcast to focus on interviewing industry-leading journalists who, in a more objective, relaxed environment, could share some of their experiences in a way that doesn’t feel too personal or emotional. Mentors can also be a source of feedback on a more individual level.


While thinking about an improvement action plan for your agency this year, make sure you involve everyone — including your employees, clients, and media contacts. Here are the summarized steps to do this effectively:

  • Improve communication with them.
  • Develop your clients into thought leaders.
  • Stay up to date with and make good use of the latest technology.
  • Explore knowledge resources for you and your team.
  • Finally, solicit feedback from all parties involved, and use it to your benefit.

Integrating these tips may not be an easy task today, but we here at NRPR have found these approaches pay tremendous dividends in the long-term. Here’s to a prosperous 2022!

Four Takeaways From PRfect Pitch Interview with Forbes Contributor, Sharon Edelson

PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing media professionals and event managers who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of their clients. As the name implies, successful pitching is key in achieving results as a public relations professional, and we are here to share the tips and tricks that will make or break your pitches.

Through conversations with industry experts, the podcast discusses how and when to pitch a story to editors and producers. They in turn learn which PR sources can be trusted to bring them interesting stories that resonate with their specific audiences. 

Our 11th guest was Forbes retail contributor, Sharon Edelson. Prior to joining Forbes, Sharon spent 17 years as a senior editor at Women’s Wear Daily. In this episode, you’ll hear Sharon talk about the journey through her journalism career, how her positions have evolved over the last 30 years with the rise of digital media and what she does to prepare for her interviews.

Here are four major takeaways from her talk with our founder and CEO, Nicole Rodrigues:

Don’t be a gatekeeper, be a bridge

In Sharon’s 30 years in journalism, she’s found that it has become harder and harder to gain access to potential interview subjects. As PR professionals, it’s important that we act as facilitators when a journalist is trying to gain access to our clients. In order to achieve this, we make ourselves and our clients as accessible as possible.

When you act as a gatekeeper for your clients, rather than a bridge between them and media professionals, it hinders a relationship that could bear greater fruits in the future. Stay connected with journalists and give them as much access as your client will allow! 

Introduce some spontaneity

There’s no question that preparing your clients for their interviews is important, but it’s equally key to leave some room for spontaneity. When your client sounds too rehearsed, it strips them of the kind of authenticity that media is often looking for.

Sharon, and other journalists, are looking for candid conversations during their interviews. While it’s expected that PR professionals prepare their clients with talking points prior to an interview, we must also prepare them for a certain level of improvisation. Ultimately, that’s what often leads to great writing and content.

A good pitch opens the door

Sharon has worked with many PR representatives throughout her career, and has seen a wide variety of pitches come through her inbox. She encourages us to stay concise and logical with our pitches, and to not be afraid to follow up on subjects that fall into her wheelhouse.

If Sharon sees a pitch that she ultimately decides to pass on, but that is well-written, she will leave the line of communication open. That’s why the introductory pitch is so important: a great first pitch can open the door for future collaborations.

It’s also why we say batch pitching doesn’t work. PR is about building meaningful relationships with the people that keep us in business: the media! The thoughtfulness you put into your first pitch can determine your client’s relationship with a given outlet.   

Don’t forgo the phone/in-person interview

Remember the days when it was normal to grab coffee with friends and colleagues? Well, we are slowly getting back to it. This means there will be opportunities to meet some of the journalists you reach out to, in-person! There is incredible value in connecting with people in person, and Sharon wants us to keep this in mind: there is nothing better than making a genuine, long-lasting connection.

Although it’s become harder to meet up with people face-to-face, the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on other ways to stay connected with people throughout the globe. Utilize the resources that technologies have provided us with, and get to know the folks on the other end of your inbox.

This feels like it might go without saying, but it’s also important to connect your clients with interviewers over the phone or in-person as well. Sharon tells us never to do a whole interview via email. The authenticity we spoke of earlier will get lost, and the content could get dry.


Do you have tips and tricks for PR professionals that you want to share? Whether it be about pitching, media relations, podcasting or more, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with Sharon on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.

Four Takeaways From PRfect Pitch Interview with Splash Magazine Writer, David Rabadi

PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing media and key event managers who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of clients. As the name implies, successful pitching is a key ingredient in achieving results as a public relations professional.

The podcast discusses how and when to pitch a story to editors and producers who in turn learn which PR sources can be trusted to bring them interesting stories that resonate with their audience. 

Our tenth guest was Splash Magazine Writer, David Rabadi. In this episode, you’ll hear about how Rabadi discovered his love for listening to someone’s story and decided that journalism was a career path he wanted to follow, the inspiration behind his book, How I Lost My Mind And Found Myself, and more. Here are a few takeaways:

Everyone Wants to be Interviewed

Whether you’re a famous celebrity, struggling to find your way, or the average Joe, everyone wants to be interviewed. This was one part of journalism that Rabadi loves. No one turns down interviews and it gives him the opportunity to learn more about people in the industry that he wouldn’t have learned previously. 

One story that particularly stood out to Rabadi occurred with the first assignment he received at Splash Magazines. He was assigned to write about New York Fashion week, but for him, it was boring and didn’t give him the opportunity to make an interpersonal connection with someone participating. This led him to branch out and lock in an interview with Nigel Barker. Here started the rest of his amazing work for the magazine. 

Never Be Ashamed of Who You Are

“Don’t ever be afraid to show who you really are because as long as you’re happy with yourself, no one else’s opinion matters” — anonymous 

Being who you are is an important part of life. This is something that Rabadi’s book, How I Lost My Mind And Found Myself, focuses on. Not everyone is dealt all the easy cards in life and Rabadi was no exception.

However, even after being diagnosed with a mood disorder and coming out with his sexuality, he felt empowered to keep moving forward and surround himself with the people who will accept him for who he is.

In both his personal life and professional career, Rabadi never forgot who he was and that opened the doors for more opportunities for him to grow. 

It Doesn’t Matter Which Media Outlet Has Your News, It Matters Who Breaks it First

We’ve heard in previous PRfect Pitch interviews that reporters love exclusives. Rabadi believes the same. Seeing an exclusive interview opportunity increases the chances of a reporter not only opening your email, but actually covering your story.

Exclusives provide the chance for reporters to tell a story before anyone else. For Rabadi, he sees this as an exciting challenge. 

Media are Humans Themselves

Media have taken a beating over the years. We’ve all heard of fake news and this is the first term that people think of when they think of journalists in the U.S. 

While it’s a common term, it doesn’t show the truth of the value that reporters bring to our news. As PR professionals, we are able to see a different side to them than others. 

Ultimately, they’re just humans doing their job and without them, we wouldn’t be informed.  

Do you have tips and tricks for PR professionals that you want to share? Whether it be about pitching, media relations, podcasting or more, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with David on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.

Five Things Your PR Firm Should Do to Thrive Throughout 2021

The PR industry is constantly evolving and adapting to societal changes. PR companies must keep up with current trends to add clients to their roster and make themselves stand out from the crowd. 

That said, more attention is on leadership roles, social media has become bigger than ever, and reporters are constantly on their toes with shorter deadlines and more content to produce. So, how should you adapt? Here are a few ways:

FURTHER Personalize Your Pitches

Reporters are bombarded with emails from PR folks every day and don’t have the time to go through them all. This means it is vital for your pitches to stand out from the rest.

If your pitch isn’t tailored toward a reporter's niche, they’ll likely delete your email right away unless you’ve ASKED them to be on a blast list for updates they want or need. Otherwise, they want to quickly grasp the content, see if it aligns with their own interests, and decide to continue investigating the subject or not. 

Your pitch should also be short, yet informative. All of the content in your pitch should be straight to the point and helpful to the reporter. In other words, don’t beat around the bush or add a lot of fluff.

Utilize Both Earned and Owned Media

Owned media is what your company directly puts out into the world, such as your Instagram, blog or website. Use them to the fullest because those are the channels that you own.

Earned media, on the other hand, is not controlled by you. It is what the press or public shares about your company. This can include an article, a tweet, or even an Instagram story about you. There are various types of earned media, especially because of the impact we’ve seen social media can have.

Earned media can help you reach audiences that owned media may not. For example, if your company is featured in a magazine, you can gain brand recognition from people that would have only discovered you through the magazine. Utilize different outlets so that you can reach crowds outside of your bubble.

A Nielson report found that “83% of consumers trust digital word-of-mouth more than content produced directly by advertisers.” People take into consideration the opinions of others when deciding what companies to purchase from.

To put it simply, don’t solely rely on owned media, have a healthy balance of both.

Use Social Media to Amplify Owned and Earned Media

Many consumers turn to social media in our digital world to research products and services prior to purchase. While having a website is helpful, it’s equally as important to use social media as it’s become the hub for brand recognition.

On social media, you’ll want to create visually appealing and engaging images. It’s also important to keep your company’s profiles up-to-date.. People want to see which clients you’re working with, what you have to offer, and how they can connect with your company and these platforms will be the first place they look. 

Since your social media profile is the first interaction consumers have with your business, make sure it represents your company well. First impressions make the biggest impact!

Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility 

According to PR Daily, as a result of the social movements that have come into the spotlight the last few years, including Black Lives Matter, consumers are interested in seeing how companies respond to these issues through corporate social responsibility (CSR). How can that help you?

Consumers want to know the company’s stances on certain issues, so they can align it with their own views and values. If a business conveys their affiliation toward a certain philanthropic organization focusing on climate change or racial justice, et al., consumers who are passionate about those social issues will view the business more positively. 

It’s also important to utilize your company website, social media platforms, or whatever tool your firm uses to engage with the public to show your stance on current issues. This could be in the form of a written statement of support or an activity your company will engage in, such as donating money or participating in an event. However, the support must be genuine. People will see right through paying lip service.

Acts like these will show consumers that your company cares about making an impact in the world and encourage consumer trust in the company.

Share Your Client’s Knowledge on Podcasts

Podcast listeners are on the rise. According to the Edison Research Infinite Dial 2020, “24% (68 million) [people] listen to podcasts weekly – up from 22% in 2019.” Podcasts are not a monopoly of huge corporations, which makes them easy to create and share. Additionally, they are easy to access on Apple podcasts, Spotify, and more.

Many people have transitioned from listening to music to listening to podcasts on their way to work, while doing housework, and countless other activities. In fact, “About 30 percent of the US online population who has ever tuned into a podcast say they are listening to podcasts more now than they were a year ago,” according to The Infinite Dial 2019. Some people also prefer to listen to information rather than read it, which is another reason podcasts are a great resource. You should be pitching your firm’s leaders and your clients to relevant podcasts. 

Podcasts can be easy to make, especially if there is no visual component. For starters, grab a mic, press record, and get to talking. Of course there is planning prior to recording, such as choosing a topic to discuss and who you’ll interview. Some ideas for a podcast focusing on PR include: What is PR? Why is PR important for companies to thrive? How has PR evolved over time? There is also editing and uploading post-recording, but the effort will be worth it in the end.

Here at NRPR, we have our own podcast, PRfect Pitch, hosted by founder and CEO Nicole Rodrigues, about all things PR. On each episode guests discuss their experiences within the media industry and share tips and tricks, whether it be about pitching, storytelling, events, and more.

There is no limit to what can be discussed on these podcasts. It’s also a great way to engage with your audience and ask them what they want to hear.

These are just a few ways to get ahead in the PR world and thrive. If you acknowledge that your company has a voice and people want to hear it, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Don’t be afraid to explore different forms of media and try new things. Times are changing and adapting your business is crucial to continue to be successful.

Five Things a Tech Company Should Have in Place Before Engaging a PR Firm

Building a great company takes time, skill, and dedication. It can be tricky building a solid roster of clientele, while building credibility across your key audiences, which is why PR is a great way to help. If you’re wondering what things your company should have in place before thinking about hiring a PR firm, we have come up with the five most integral steps you should put in place while creating your brand that will lead to credibility, traction, and success:

Set Up a Company Website

According to Forbes, “A business’s online presence, regardless of industry, can have a massive impact on its success.” Having a company website set up that is user friendly, easy to access, and aesthetically fits the company will build your credibility. 

Websites legitimize a company and potential clients find safety in a company with an up-to-date site. Without a website, current and potential clients, and more will question the credibility and legitimacy of the company. 

It is important to lay out your company’s work with examples, so others know what they can expect from their time working with you. It will also help them see your company matches their current needs. 

Lastly, you want your website to be Search Engine Optimized (SEO). “The goal of any experienced SEO is to establish a strong foundation for a beautiful website with a clean, effective user experience that is easily discoverable in search with thanks to the trust and credibility of the brand and its digital properties,” according to Search Engine Journal

Have a Basic Social Media Presence

In our digital world, social media plays a big part in how we communicate with others. No matter what industry you’re in, being able to connect with those outside of your organization is important. This not only shows that you care about your community, but also helps bring in new business and answer questions publicly, which has become more important than ever since the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Having an online presence as a business on any of the social media forums like Facebook or Instagram is a great way to interact with your audience and to really connect with them on a personal level,” according to Digital Marketing. “Social media is a place where interacting with your audience gives you more exposure and helps you better understand your audience.”

Social media is also key in brand awareness and humanizing yourself to attract others. Now more than ever people are looking to work with relatable, down to earth companies that have similar morals, values, and work ethics, so using your brand presence is imperative. 

It is important to use social media to showcase the things your company stands for, supports, and believes in. These platforms also provide the opportunity to showcase projects, clients, and more to increase traction and give a sense of credibility to your company. It is yet another way to also show potential clients the services you provide.

One platform that every brand, company, CEO, and employee should be using is Linkedin. This is the top platform that potential clients, employees, and competitors use. Having a clean and up-to-date Linkedin page for your brand provides more opportunities for people to learn about you, leading to more credibility. 

Overall, companies have been using social media to their advantage, and according to Hootsuite, it is important to keep an eye on your competitors. Use their media tactics to your advantage, learning from them what works and what doesn’t.

Have a Clear Mission and Company Objectives

If you don’t know what your core objectives are, you don’t want to chase PR for vanity purposes. PR is a powerful tool when used correctly. This is why having a clear mission, a solid mission statement and core goals and values of a company will help you align what you want PR for. in addition to what your company’s niche is. “The quality and content of a company's mission statement can affect every part of a business, including its customers and employees,” according to Indeed. “A strong mission statement gives employees purpose and improves engagement in their work.” 

The main three things to include in a mission statement are the following: 

  • Who you are trying to reach
  • What your product or service is
  • What sets you apart from your competitors

Having a well-written and accurate mission statement brings another level of credibility to your company and will help attract the right clients.This also helps you know what your goals are before you engage PR so your PR team can get off on the right foot and move the PR in the right direction. 

Approved Messaging (or Have your PR Firm Develop it)

The first thing that NRPR does when we sign a new client is hop on a messaging call with them. Why? So that we align ourselves with their core message, and understand who they are and what they’re trying to accomplish. We use this for our media pitching to ensure we’re getting the correct message across. 

Each brand, company, and person we work with has a story, and it’s our job to make sure that story is represented accurately and to the best of our ability. These calls allow us to create personal relationships and get to know each of our clients so we can represent them well. 

This also helps keep the messaging consistent across all social media platforms, sales and investment materials, and websites. Creating a document of notes from your messaging call is a great way to make sure that you are able to keep the messaging consistent and have documents to go back to for reference. 

Bios For Key People

Creating a bio for key people in your company tells more of a story than a resume does, according to Forbes. These people can include the CEO, Founder, COO, Head of Human Resources, and other key players you want to highlight. 

Creating these bios provides a space for you to highlight personal wins, awards, company and personal career highlights, and more, according to We Write Bios. Once these bios are created and perfected, it is important to not only feature them on your website and social media, but also on Linkedin. 

Whether you decide to move forward with PR or not, it is important to put your key audiences first in all aspects of your company. In creating a user-friendly website, promoting yourself and your company on social media, getting to know your clients on a personal level, branding yourself honestly, and promoting what you stand for, you are increasing credibility and creating a company that will be trustworthy to future clients or customers.

Four Takeaways From PRfect Pitch Interview with Editor at PRNews, Seth Arenstein

PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing media and key event managers who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of clients. As the name implies, successful pitching is a key ingredient in achieving results as a public relations professional.

The podcast discusses how and when to pitch a story to editors and producers who in turn learn which PR sources can be trusted to bring them interesting stories that resonate with their audience. 

Our eighth guest was PRNews Editor Seth Arenstein. In this episode, you’ll hear about the type of pitch that gets Arenstein excited, what happens when sensitive information is accidentally leaked, and why it’s important to set the ground rules before meeting with a journalist. Here are a few takeaways:

Know When Something is On or Off the Record

Sometimes, a CEO and/or person of authority drops something in an interview they shouldn’t. It happens to the best of us.

However, even if you ask a journalist to keep that information out of their story, it’s ultimately up to them whether or not they’ll include it. Asking doesn’t guarantee.

If you’re a journalist and asked by a PR professional to not include a particular piece of information in your story, do you share it anyway? This is where relationships with the media come into play. 

A journalist's job is to build resources because they want their own Rolodex of people they can go to for their stories. However, a journalist is still human and needs to do their job. 

It can be difficult to backtrack when they hear something that’s valuable to your audience, but as a friend, you’ll be more likely to not have that information leaked.

Offer an Exclusive if Classified Information is Said During an Interview

One way to help this classified information stay private is by offering that journalist an exclusive. This is music to a journalist's ears.

Both NRPR Group CEO Nicole Rodrigues and Seth Arenstein say that offering a journalist the exclusive right to break your story will not only help this information stay private as long as possible, but it also gives the journalist an incentive to keep the information quiet until it can be announced.

In this case, not only is the journalist getting an exclusive, but it  them the opportunity to continue writing their story without the slip getting in the way.

Journalists Don’t like Blast Pitches

As we hear often, journalists don’t like pitches that have been blasted. Why? Because it shows you haven’t done your homework. Pitching 12 media friendlies is immensely better than blasting 500 people. If 10 people out of the 500 respond, then you’ve upset 490 other journalists and are risking a potential relationship.

The takeaway? Develop relationships with the media, so you only need to pitch a handful of people you can trust.

Arenstein suggests when it comes to pitching, ask what stories a journalist is working on and how you can help. You can quite literally say something along the lines of “Hey Seth, what are you working on and how can I help?” Something as simple as this will often get you a response.

This not only saves you time on writing a pitch that may not be responded to, but allows them to tell you what they need, and provide you with the opportunity to explain why your client would make a great fit. 

Without the Media, PR Professionals Wouldn’t Have Jobs

PR professionals and journalists are like peanut butter and jelly. Without one, the other just isn’t as good.

This is why when Nicole heard from a colleague, “I'm great at strategizing, so I don’t pitch,” she was surprised.  As soon as you stop pitching and no longer build relationships with the media, you won’t grow in your career. 

The strategy should always be to build media relationships because without them, PR professionals wouldn’t have people to go to for resources and simply wouldn’t have a job.

The ultimate goal is for people to take the resources brought to life through journalism seriously. With a strong partnership where PR people work closely with their friends in the media, trust will be built in our media system.

Do you have tips and tricks for PR professionals that you want to share? Whether it be about pitching, media relations, podcasting or more, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with Seth on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.

Four Takeaways From PRfect Pitch Interview with Celebrity Correspondent Eileen Shapiro

PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing media and key event managers who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of clients. As the name implies, successful pitching is a key ingredient in achieving results as a public relations professional.

The podcast discusses how and when to pitch a story to editors and producers who in turn learn which PR sources can be trusted to bring them interesting stories that resonate with their audience. 

Our seventh guest was Eileen Shapiro, celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine and more than 72 others she contributed to. In this episode, you’ll hear about how Eileen bridges the world of journalism and public relations, her role as a partner of World Star PR, how when you are doing PR right, it’s a win/win for you and the journalist, and more.

Promote the Work You’re Doing

Promote, promote, promote. You know the saying “pics or it didn’t happen.” Well, for PR professionals, it’s “promote or it didn’t happen.” 

It’s not just about the article or interview that you did, it’s about how you let others know about it. If you write an article, but don’t promote it, who will see it? Likely, no one.

“The piece itself is the least important thing. It is what you do with it afterwards, how you promote it and how the person you interviewed promoted it,” Shapiro said.

This is why it’s important to share what you’re doing on social media, on both the company profiles and personal accounts. Whether it be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other platform you prefer, it’s important to not let this work go unnoticed.

Build Relationships With the Media

If you build a relationship with a media person, not only will this show that you’re reliable and they can trust you, but they’ll also think of you and your clients when a new idea story arises.

“I’ll always do a favor for a PR person because I know I’ll need a favor too,” Shapiro said. These relationships are mutually beneficial and, “It’s a great feeling, you’re doing something for them and they’ll do something for you.”

It’s important to not view these relationships as a competition. PR professionals want to be allies journalists, not competitors. Our goal is to help one another, so more stories can be told and create better access to information.

It shouldn’t be an us vs. them kind of thing. The relationship can be, and should be, mutually beneficial.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Say It

It’s something we grow up hearing. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” and the same goes when you’re writing a story. 

“Never write anything negative. People want to read and be entertained. They don't want to read about someone's mishap,” Shapiro said. “A lot of journalists are sensationalists, but I just want to tell the truth. You’re talking about someone's life. Don’t ruin it.” 

Even the Best Writers Need a Second Set of Eyes

Having a second set of eyes on your work is always a good  idea. There are things that your brain thinks have gotten on paper, but when you read it back, it’s missing words. This is why an editing process is so important.

Writing isn’t a God-given talent. It’s a muscle that you develop and continue to strengthen over time. There’s only so much experience you receive in school, so if you keep at it and allow other people to come in and critique it, you’ll get better. 

Never stop strengthening this craft.

Do you have tips and tricks for PR professionals that you want to share? Whether it be about pitching, media relations, podcasting or more, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with Eileen on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.

Four Takeaways From PRfect Pitch Interview with Senior Editor at Threatpost, Tara Seals

PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing media and key event managers who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of clients. As the name implies, successful pitching is a key ingredient in achieving results as a public relations professional.

The podcast discusses how and when to pitch a story to editors and producers who in turn learn which PR sources can be trusted to bring them interesting stories that resonate with their audience. 

Our sixth guest was Tara Seals, Senior Editor at Threatpost. In this episode, you’ll hear about Tara’s background as a journalist, analyst, and editor in the tech and cybersecurity industries, why it’s so important to do your homework and research before pitching someone, and more. Here are a few takeaways: 

Cybersecurity is More Important Now Than Ever

With security breaches like the one that recently occurred with Facebook, we’re seeing just how important cybersecurity is. 

Data breaches occur almost every day, but we don’t find out about them until it’s too late. In 2020 alone, almost 4,000 data breaches took place. However, it’s not just data breaches, that we should be looking out for. 

We should be looking for malware and ransomware attacks, phishing, and more. There’s always something happening on the cyber front, which is why cybersecurity is imperative. 

A common motivation for these attacks is financial gain, but regardless of the reasoning, the volume of attacks is unnerving and something everyone should be aware of.

Do Your Homework

Pitching is an important part of PR and with this comes doing your homework to ensure you write the best pitch possible. However, if you don’t know the niche of the journalist you’re pitching, the pitch will go to waste. 

For Tara, she notes that Threat Post focuses on trends and evergreen information, but not personal news about a company. This is valuable information you can learn by doing your homework.

“Don’t just look at the name of the outlet and assume they care about your news,” said NRPR Group CEO Nicole Rodrigues. “What is deep in it? Do they focus on opinions, data, or whether or not you’re a security company that’s raised money? This is what you should be looking into.”

Doing your homework is a common theme that we’ve heard on almost every PRfect Pitch episode and I know why. Time is valuable. You don’t want to waste a journalist's time by pitching them something irrelevant. You wouldn’t want that to happen to you, so take the time to do your homework.

Use Keywords In the Subject Line of Your Email

Keywords are exactly what you’d think they are. Key to the success of your email being opened. For Tara, a subject line that says “news” and includes keywords like “malware discovered on Netflix” will pique her interest. 

Another reason keywords increase the open rate of an email is because it shows you’ve done your homework. If it appears to be targeted towards something the journalist is writing about, then it’s the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship. Once a relationship is formed, your pitch is more likely to be opened.

This also opens the doors for a journalist to come to you for future stories they’re writing because they know they can depend on the work you do and your clients.

Research the Industry to Know Which Dates are Best to Pitch

For Tara, Tuesday’s are the most hectic days. The second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft does an update on their software. Adobe, Oracle and other tech companies release their information all on the same day.

As a PR person, this can also give you the opportunity to offer an executive to speak on whatever these companies are releasing. You don’t need an announcement to pitch, because here Microsoft is doing that, but you can be a great resource.

It’s also important to make sure your resource is available right away for stories like this.

In-person Relationships are Important Too

People have lost touch with what it means to have a relationship outside of Zoom. Rightfully so. We’ve spent over a year working from home and not attending the annual conferences, seminars, and events that were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.

In the post COVID world, it’s important to bring these in-person relationships back. Are you going to a conference? Network and meet with someone for coffee or dinner. Not only does this put a face to the name, but it also helps you stand out from the crowd and build a solid relationship from the start.

Additionally, people have been cooped up all year. Journalists will be thrilled to have this physical connection and meet you whenever the time comes.

Do you have tips and tricks for PR professionals that you want to share? Whether it be about pitching, media relations, podcasting or more, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with Tara on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.

Four Takeaways From PRfect Pitch Interview with Jenny Melros, Influencer Entrepreneurs Podcast

PRfect Pitch focuses on interviewing media and key event managers who PR agencies pitch regularly on behalf of clients. As the name implies, successful pitching is a key ingredient in achieving results as a public relations professional.

The podcast discusses how and when to pitch a story to editors and producers who in turn learn which PR sources can be trusted to bring them interesting stories that resonate with their audience. 

Our fifth guest was Jenny Melrose, host of the Influencer Entrepreneurs podcast, business coach, and author. 

In this episode, you’ll hear about tips and tricks to position yourself to find the right audience, how Influencer Entrepreneurs podcast can help maximize online growth and your potential as a business owner, and more. Here are a few takeaways: 

Market Yourself

Marketing yourself is important to move up in your career. For Melrose, this was especially imperative because she pivoted her career from full-time teacher to blogger and podcaster. 

While it was a natural transition for her, no one knew Melrose as anything other than a teacher at the time. This compelled her to market herself more to drive traffic to her website and podcast. One way she was able to do this is by learning her niche and putting her focus on that specific subject.

Being in the coaching space was a passion for Melrose and her podcast gave her a platform to coach people and give a peek into what one-on-one coaching sessions look like. Through networking, she ultimately got to a place where she’s been able to produce her podcast for four years without missing an episode. 

Networking is an important aspect of marketing yourself. A new way that people are networking is through Clubhouse. You may remember we discussed how Clubhouse is changing the media relations game in the PRfect Pitch interview with Dean Takahashi.

Believe it or not, using Clubhouse to help grow your Instagram and make yourself known is becoming more common. One thing that Melrose always does is look at the Instagram accounts of everyone who is in her Clubhouse room and send them a thank you note on Instagram afterwards. By doing this, she builds relationships and grows her brand simultaneously.

Show Personality In Your Pitch

Pitching can be mundane at times, but it doesn’t have to be. One thing that Melrose constantly looks for in the pitches she receives is if someone’s personality comes through. 

Part of being able to show the right personality in a pitch is by doing your research. As a former teacher, doing your homework is extremely important for Melrose, and if she feels you’ve done this prior to pitching her, she’s more likely to interview your client.

Doing your homework in this case can mean listening to a past episode of a podcast, so that you’ll get a feel for what the host is expecting. If you’re able to make a connection between a past guest and the client you’re pitching, that’s a great way to show that you’ve done the necessary research.

Coach Clients On Making Clear and User-Friendly Websites

Clear website messaging not only helps journalists understand the work you do, but is also important for business. We’ve discussed the importance of PR professionals doing their homework, but it’s equally as important for the journalist to do their homework as well, and know that they will. 

Especially for a podcast host, they want to make sure someone is the best fit for their show as possible. Melrose says the worst thing she encounters is when someone's website doesn’t make sense and is hard to navigate. In cases like this, it can be a deal breaker on whether or not someone will interview you.

Website messaging should be concise and clear and as a PR professional, you can coach your clients on the best messaging to use for their company.

Subject Lines are Key

For Melrose, she wants to look at a subject line and automatically know why you’re unique. Have you been podcasting for awhile? Include that you’re a podcasting veteran. Are you a mom of five? Write that too!

This goes hand-in-hand with doing your homework. If you listen to Jenny Melrose’s podcast, you may notice that everyone she interviews has a podcast of their own. This is why indicating you’re a veteran podcaster would be important in a pitch for her. 

Your subject line should say in a few words why your client would be a good guest and this will help increase the odds of receiving a response.

Whether it be subject lines, doing your homework, marketing, networking or more, a lot goes into relationship building with the media and understanding the appropriate time to pitch someone. Melrose provided a great perspective on these topics and we loved having her on the show.

Do you have tips and tricks for PR professionals that you want to share? Whether it be about pitching, media relations, podcasting or more, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment on this interview with Jenny on YouTube, which can be found here

You can also listen to this season of PRfect Pitch via Apple Podcasts, or your preferred podcast platform.