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Don’t be so irrelevant

This blog post is written by CCGroup Account Executive, Emma Catchpole

Gorkana recently held one of its infamous breakfast briefings and as some of us are still fairly new to PR, it seemed sensible to take the opportunity to question key editors face to face on what they want from us.

Gorkana

Under fire at last week’s event were five Wall Street Journal Europe editors. The line up, which could rival any Leicester Square premier, included European editor, Thorold Barker; Financial Editor, Duncan Mavin; and Chip Cummins, Business Editor of EMEA. A joke was made about whether their insurance would cover them all being in one place at one time – I mean would it? Imagine if… OK I’m not here to discuss that…

Anyway, as I listened to what the editors all wanted most from PR, I soon realised I’d heard what they were talking about before. In fact I’ve heard this one word key message time and time again. I heard it as soon as I embarked on my PR degree at Bournemouth University, and again when I stepped into CCgroup as a fresh graduate, and even at the last event I attended on whether the press release is dead – I keep on hearing it. Relevance. Be relevant.

Over and over again, journalists’ most frequent criticism of PR practitioners is regarding relevance, or lack of it. Whether that be pitching the right story to the right journalist, appreciating the publication’s readership, or even making sure the timing of your pitch is relevant – understanding press day pressures or being conscious of when other big news is breaking, such as the recent Autumn Statement. According to these editors, and others we’ve spoken to, this age-old problem has not gone away.

Perhaps it is this irrelevance that journalists continue to deal with that makes building relationships difficult for new PRs. But why? It’s not hard to take the time to understand individual journalists’ needs and it’s something we pride ourselves on at CCgroup.

Let’s put a stop to this for the sake of the young, fresh PR generation (me). Let’s be relevant and make the effort to create beneficial relationships with journalists and key influencers. It’s the difference between good & bad PR and the simple solution to ensuring that you are considered a good PR practitioner.

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