What Are the Biggest Challenges for Media Relations in 2009?

We recently conducted interviews with public relations professionals across many different environments and positions – from entry-level to management, from agency to corporate, and from a small agency to big agency, to gauge what the biggest challenges were for pros in dealing with the media on a daily basis in today’s environment. While we are continuing these discussions with anyone that will listen – and we welcome your feedback – some of the more consistent themes we’ve found include:Interview

  • Keeping up with changing media contacts and editorial changes in a rapidly changing media environment
  • Having accurate media contact information and pitch tips on hand – not having to re-research information pulled from media databases
  • Being able to collaborate more efficiently across media relations teams – moving away from static spreadsheets of contacts
  • Breaking through filters to reach the right contact, at the right time, with just the right information
  • Adapting to new formats and uses of the press release
  • Leveraging new media like Twitter (see MediaOnTwitter wiki) in appropriate ways
  • Working around changing opinions around traditional approaches – like the embargo
  • Having better access to what journalists are writing about, what information they value most, and how they like to best work with PR pros – if at all
  • Quantifying the value of media outreach and placement to clients and other stakeholders – beyond impressions, release pickup, and adding value
  • Developing more effective processes for one-to-one media relations – moving away from one-size-fits-all pitching
  • Training junior staffers on the new rules of engagement for PR


These are just some of the more common themes we’ve discovered through our initial discussions. What are the biggest challenges you face on a daily basis? What should be on this list that we missed? How are you adapting to change? What solutions help you the most in your job today? Where are the gaps? Let us know what you think.

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