Last week I returned to GFM after the second maternity leave of my tenure and have been eager to share observations and tips related to media relations that have been swirling in my PR-minded brain since we got home from the hospital.
We welcomed Anderson boy #2 on Oct. 23, 2016 and I was fortunate to be able to spend 13 wonderful weeks at home with our newest addition.
But, like many a PR pro will admit, “unplugging” is simply not in my nature.
Sure, I came off client team emails and didn’t see the day-to-day happenings and issues impacting my colleagues (thank you teams!!). However, I relished in consuming media in ways I rarely, if ever, have time for as a full-time working mom. I watched and sent photos and ideas from nearly every hour of The Today Show to coworkers pitching the show. I watched Ellen and enviously wondered about the media budgets of the brands featured on her holiday giveaway segments. I took phone screen shots of tweets and Instagram posts by local and national reporters and editors for future pitch ideas.
All of this consumption renewed and reenergized my love of the chase…the ever-changing and elusive chase for the perfect media hit. And as I sit here settling back into my #workingmom mindset, I’m keeping certain maternity leave observations in mind.
- Alternative news programs are fascinating and may be an untapped resource for pitching interesting stories. I personally love the nightly program Vice News and the human-interest programming it features in addition to exploring differing sides of the day’s major headlines.
- Twitter is still where news breaks first and where PR pros can and should be having actual dialogue with reporters to build relationships and trust.
- Instagram is a very good place to have Twitter-like dialogue with food and lifestyle reporters. Food editors in particular are smart to approach on this channel when they post about recipes, restaurants, new products, etc.
- Instagram (again) is also a treasure trove of information related to what long lead media outlets are working on now. Wondering when to pitch a summer product or recipe to these editors? Well, according to Instagram Parents Magazine is already well into testing popsicles and other frozen treats for summer!
- Current events can bump everything else media is covering in the current political landscape. No media vertical is immune and it’s more important than ever to assess the news pulse of the day, research how your media targets are or are not reacting, and then make a strategic decision whether to move ahead with pitching or to give it a bit
When you step away, whether it be for a vacation or for an extended leave, does your media consumption change? What have you learned when you have the time to let it all soak in?