By Alan Keane, Account Manager

Alan Keane outlines why good media relations are crucial for successful PR agencies.

Public relations in 2019 is complicated. When putting together a publicity strategy in 2019, there are so many moving parts vying for your consideration that you run a real risk of overlooking what was, is, and ever shall be the most crucial aspect; getting your message across in an effective manner to the media.

A public relations company is nothing without an excellent working relationship with the media, and that’s something that we pride ourselves on here at Plunkett PR.

On a recent visit to New York, I spoke to PR professionals working at the top of their game about media relations, and what constitutes good practice stateside. There is a reverence across the Atlantic for those who can develop good relationships with journalists, which I think tells a lot about the sheer scale of media that PR companies deal with on a regular basis, and vice versa. To cut through all the noise and form a genuinely solid relationship with the media takes excellent people skills.

Obviously there is a smaller pool of media in Ireland to forge relationships with, but that just means each journalist is bombarded daily by a plethora of PR people all seeking coverage for their own clients. Standing out is hard, but miraculously in this day and age people still trust people, meaning PR is at least 10x more potent than advertising, and therefore worth the effort.

With that in mind, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you’re on the right side of the media you depend on for your clients, or at the very least, to ensure you’re not on their bad side.

No time-wasting

Never waste a journalist’s time just so you can tell a client you have contacted them. Pitching is not a box ticking exercise. Each pitch must be tailored to the specific  The only box you’re ticking is the one that says “never contact me again.”

Respect deadlines

A journalist has a job to do, and if you can make it that little bit easier by getting them the information they need well in advance of their deadline, it will be appreciated.

Take note of a journalist’s preferences

Something as simple as knowing a particular journalist’s likes and dislikes when it comes to communications (phone or email, for example) can make all the difference. Simple, yes, but when you have countless journalists to keep track of, that’s where the hard work comes in.

Try and stand out from the crowd, but not like this:

worst PR email ever.jpg

Finally, nip this in the bud…


The email equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard.

It’s not nice to e-meet you. Just stop it, you’re ruining PR for the rest of us.