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Top 3 Quotes from PRNews’ Media Relations Conference

Last week in Washington, DC, our friends at PRNews held a Snapchat Boot Camp and Media Relations conference. It was a pleasure to present on the important topic of Snapchat, Instagram Stories—or both— to an audience of communicators looking to determine where to spend their time and effort. (You can read a little about our thinking on this topic here.)

It was an engaging two days, with best practices being shared by communicators in the digital and traditional media spaces. From Facebook Live to the best way to pitch a reporter, PRNews gave communications professionals a lot to consider. It was difficult to narrow down the list, but here are the top three quotes that stayed with me after the event.

“Don’t call me. Ever.” That was the advice from Kristen Page-Kirby, Senior Arts Writer for the Washington Post Express, when asked by the audience on the ages-old question of when a PR professional should call a reporter to follow up on an emailed pitch. The other journalists on a panel who evaluated the audience’s pitches generally agreed that following up via email or text was preferable given the volume of phone calls they receive, but we’d say PR pros should build relationships with reporters so they’re more likely to pick up when they see your number.

“Shame on a communications professional if there’s a ‘gotcha’ moment.” Johana Burke, EVP of BurrellesLuce, advocated for very detailed planning during a panel discussion of live video for brands. All panelists suggested planning a live video presentation with the level of detail you would a press conference or other media event, including assigning roles and putting your experts on camera before the broadcast to ensure they don’t freeze up when the feed is live.

“Comedy is good to get one point across.” David Litt, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama and current head writer and producer for the Washington, DC outpost of Funny or Die, used the case study of Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns to raise awareness of the Affordable Care Act with young Americans. The appearance resonated with the young audience that the White House needed to reach, even if the interview wasn’t part of the White House’s initial communication strategy. It wouldn’t have worked, Litt said, if President Obama had tried to plug a five-point plan in one video.

Thanks to PRNews for organizing an informative and engaging event, and to all the panelists and presenters for their valuable insight.

Did you attend the conference? What were your key takeaways? Tweet with us at @solomonmccown.

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We are a fully integrated PR agency that thrives at the intersection of public policy and business, helping organizations to define who they are, earn the recognition they deserve, and protect their reputations.

We provide senior counsel in complex sectors, including healthcare, education, housing and real estate. We leverage our experience in traditional and digital media, government relations and crisis management to support legacy organizations and those that are on the rise.