How The Four New Golden Rules of PR is the Most Effective PR Strategy

Recently the PR team here at Serendipit had the opportunity to attend a webinar hosted by PRSA Phoenix with the founder of HARO (Help A Reporter Out) Peter Shankman.

The webinar was a good mix of interesting stories and tidbits and advice on four new “golden” rules of PR, especially with the current state of our attention spans.  According to Shankman, the current attention span of the average person is 2.7 seconds. With only having a split two seconds to capture attention, you have to make every second count.

What are the Four Golden Rules?

1)    Transparency – Be transparent with reporters. Reach out to a reporter you want to work with even if you don’t have a story to pitch. Ask them what they are working on, let them know what clients you work with and let them know you would love to be a resource when needed. The important factor here is to make sure that when the reporter reaches back out to you and needs something that you are able to get back with them in a quick manner.  

2)    Relevancy – Do you know how to be relevant to a reporter? We all assume that email is how a reporter wants to be contacted. When is the last time you contacted a reporter some way other than an email? But, have you ever asked the reporters you work with if that is their preference? Next time ask, do they like to get an email, text, social media or phone call (gasp)! You might be surprised. When the reporter lets you know, keep track and make sure to reach out to the reporter in their preferred preference.

3)    Brevity – Keep it short. But be brilliant. As stated above, we now have an attention span of 2.7 seconds. How many words can you read in 2.7 seconds? I would bet that with the thousands of emails a reporter receives every day, their attention span is even shorter. To make sure you are set up for success, make every word count and make sure it is error-free. Double-check that your email doesn’t have spelling errors and it is probably a good idea to make sure you have the reporter’s name correct!

4)    Top of Mind – Be the PR pro resource that no one else can be. How can you help the reporter out (good advice coming from the founder of HARO) and be indispensable? When a reporter needs a resource or expert be the one to help. Even if it isn’t a client you work with, you probably know someone or you know other PR professionals who would love a media opportunity for their client. The more helpful you are the better! The next time you reach out, the reporters will remember.

Brevity was the rule that stood out the most to me. Giving enough information to make it useful while still keeping it short is a fine balance!

Which rule stood out to you? Why?