At the beginning of the year, the New Pros Committee approached David Neville, marketing and communications director at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, about hosting an event at the flagship Balboa Park cultural destination. Neville graciously accepted and offered to give the group a tour of their newest exhibition, Speed: Science in Motion, and give a brief overview of how the PR and media landscape has changed over time.
“Things were a little different when I started out in PR,” Neville said as he began his presentation. While some of the traditional tactics like creating press releases and advertising in print media still generate buzz, other tactics do not. Here are top four takeaways from the event:
1. No More Long Story Boards
People aren’t interested in anything too long or drawn out. They’re looking for video coverage, short snapshots, and enticing photos. The story doesn’t always sell itself, you have to be creative to stand out to reporters.
2. Take Care of Your Reporters
Foster healthy relationships with reporters you work with frequently, as well as those you would like to work with more often. It may seem simple but it’s often times forgotten. Just like a friendship, your business relationships with the reporters you work with is built on mutual respect. Let them know of stories you think they would be interested in, even if it’s not for one of your clients.
3. Media Alerts Work
Send media alerts to editors and give them the who, what, where, why, and how. Make sure that the editors have all the information they need including your contact information so that they don’t have to do any extra leg work.
4. Study Your Audience
Learn about who your audience is and where they get their information. Ask yourselves, do they watch the evening news? Do they watch local and national news? Do they subscribe to a newspaper or do they get their news electronically? Do they listen to the radio? And do they get their news via social media on a smartphone?
The new professionals in attendance were enthralled with Neville’s experience in the PR industry as well as the useful tips he shared. After the tour of Speed and presentation, which took place on February 20, the group was given a written exercise: to write a pitch for the next installment of Speed: Science in Motion. The exhibition will showcase a new theme every month for the entire year. Visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s website to see a list of themes—this month all about is Drag Racing.