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Symbiosis: How PR done well can make the press better

05 May 2017

Today’s ICT writers are more time-poor than ever before.

Fewer journalists are writing and editing more copy.

So we strive to give them what they need: clear, concise and relevant text devoid of adjectives or any hint of marketing hype.

A filter doing a balancing act

As an executive journalist on the Fin Review two decades or so ago, too much of my time was spent trashing PR handouts.

Eventually head-hunted by a PR agency that wanted someone who could actually write, it took me a while to reach an equilibrium.

Balancing the needs of clients and journalists is key to the relationship – a concept that is easy to discuss yet often difficult to achieve.

Pre Fin Review, I was press-ganged into becoming Business Editor of a New Zealand Sunday paper.

New Zealand had about three decent PR agencies at the time, and starting from scratch without contacts I suffered in an acute information vacuum.

In contrast, today’s media receive an avalanche of material, good, bad and indifferent.

PR acts as a filter between client and media, and the best agencies invest expertise and effort in ensuring that writers receive information they actually find useful.

So in an ICT industry bursting with innovation and new ideas, being perceived as a reliable source of information is critically important in developing trust.

A good agency will apply our principles of short, sharp copy-writing across the entire communications spectrum.

Disciplined writing is just as effective for social media, lead generation, advertising, presentations, speeches and more.

Content is still king

In a world where native advertising is growing, people are switching off online ads by using ad blockers, so content continues to grow in importance.

A company’s ‘brand narrative’ simply isn’t sufficient.

A vendor and its agency need to work expertise and knowledge into all the messaging they produce, which calls for professional writing skills and editorial experience.

Thus, outsourcing to an agency with a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape leaves a company free to focus on what they do best rather than keeping pace with publishing industry.

Making the most of what you have

Good PR will leverage a client’s existing information.

Whitepapers, product briefs, brochures, blogs and more offer a wealth of opportunity for sniffing out newsworthy items.

In this way we garner feature material, or thought leadership as it’s called these days, that is proving useful to the ICT media.

PR agencies are helping journalists to delve deeper into the mysteries of emerging technology such as object-defined storage, machine learning, SD-WANs, programmatic marketing, big data, business intelligence and predictive analytics. 

Article written by PR Deadlines CEO David Frost

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