Face-to-Face Time Provides Insight and Understanding at Media Roundtable

by Ashley Pinder

Many times people perceive the media and public relations professionals as working at odds – one side feeling inundated by pesky “follow-up calls” and the other side feeling like the messages it shares are too easily disregarded.  However, I attended an event last week that showed this disconnect is not always the case …

At the 2008 Central Florida Media Roundtable, put on by the two local chapters of public relations associations FPRA and PRSA, about 200 PR professionals from all different industries sat face-to-face with 17 media types from different outlets and shared what they need and want from the other side to do their jobs.  And what was quickly uncovered was that both sides just so happen to have the same goal – keeping the public informed.

Of course it is our responsibility as PR professionals to make sure we are only sharing our company information to specific media that it applies to and we are doing our diligence in learning about who exactly that is – timely and relevant information is key.  Reporters receive a lot of emails, so we need to be sure we are only sharing important stuff, and doing it how they want it.  Providing a local angle on a breaking national story is always compelling to daily papers and offering a glimpse into the life of local company executive doing extraordinary things in the community can be an excellent story for a local lifestyle magazine.

When it comes down to it, reporters and editors need information and public relations professionals need to share information … seems like these needs are actually quite complementary.  And all it took was a little face time to realize it.

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