By: Lauren Benda

Perfecting your media relations skill-set can be a difficult task that is sought after by many PR students. And who better to learn from than someone working in the media and someone working alongside the media?At our last general assembly, Val Lego, WZZM 13 Health Reporter, and Lauren Krzesicki, 834 Design and Marketing Project Manager, spoke on what makes the perfect PR pro when it comes to working with the media. I was shocked at what I learned about what it takes to be successful in the world of media relations. Val talked about her average workday, and what she looks for in PR pro. While, Lauren discussed how to build successful media relationships.

Here are the three things to keep in mind when working with the media:

1. Be trustworthy. It’s a simple character trait we learn at a very young age, that should translate into your professional life. The media should know that you can be trusted and deliver on promises made. Conversely, a trustworthy PR pro knows when to throw in the towel and let the media know if they can’t deliver on time.

2. Cater to the reporter. First and foremost, you need to be aware of the reporters’ speciality. Each reporter is different and learning what they like is something that can greatly benefit PR pros. Realizing that they are busy people and being respectful of their time, you should go out of your way to learn which forms of communication that they like best.

3. NEVER attach your news release as a document. Reporters get hundreds of emails a day with potential stories. Make it convenient for them and place the news release right in the body of the email. It’s okay to attach images, because if they are planning to look at images they are already interested in the story. Most importantly, we learned the media pitching process, from start to finish. It was truly valuable to have the opportunity to see both sides. It was a much-needed perspective change that will shape the beginning of many media relationships.

Lauren Benda is a senior at Grand Valley State University studying Advertising and Public Relations, with an emphasis on Public Relations. She aspires to become a PR pro in the world of sports, but in the meantime Lauren can be found either in Glen Arbor, or on top of a mountain with the snow under her board.