Melbourne’s First PR/Comms/Media networking night – 30 Sept #prjournolove

Last year in July 2009 when I was still relatively new to Twitter and well into the media relations space the lovely Jen Bishop at Dynamic Business Magazine and I were musing about the myth of ‘PR people versus Journalists’ and why this was so. Lamenting about the negativity of this industry rift and how much love there actually is, and can be, between media and PR people we came up with a Twitter hashtag #prjournolove.

Since that fateful day we’ve seen the tag spreading the love far and wide and the wonderful Jen started a Sydney #prjournolove event, giving media and PR people the chance to meet and mingle and strengthen the bond between the two professions.

There should not be such a ‘us versus them’ mentality because in reality we need each other. When PR and media work best is when they work best together because ultimately we’re working towards getting stories and information out there.

So, together with a group of lovely friends and colleagues in the PR and media industry whom I’ve met here in Melbourne, we’re bringing the very first Melbourne #prjournolove event to town.

Next Thursday 30 September at 24 Moons in ACDC Lane in the city from 6.30pm. #prjournolove

RSVP at the Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115658781823055

See you there!

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Establish online social networks before you need them – I did!

It has been a little over two weeks since I moved to Melbourne from Sydney and the often quipped advice about establishing your online social networks before you need them has been tried, tested and a proven success. Although I did not intend to be my own case study in practice, the connections I have made via Twitter with people living in Melbourne has come to fruition in the form of many wonderful new friends, web of advice and tips about the currently windy city, and even employment. If it weren’t for the online connections I had made prior to deciding to move, I doubt I would be as happy, settled, exited or ambitious about living a fabulous Melbourne lifestyle.

The proliferation of hashtag events has introduced me to many locals from a range of ages, lifestyles, backgrounds and online experience at TweetUpMellers (#twums), @socialmelb coffee mornings on Fridays (#socialmelb) which were founded by the delightful Kate Kendall (check out her blog http://thezeitgeists.blogspot.com/), and a few catch-ups organised between new friends. All have been thoroughly enjoyed with few to no awkward moments that can often pepper (or even dominate) new meetings.

I’d like to thank for following for being such lovely, kind, intelligent and welcoming people (in no particular order): Trevor Young, David Park, Kimberley S, Tina, Lindsay, Clare (a Sydney, part-time Melb legend), Georgia, Kate, Yvonne, Ailsa, Sam, Bec, Caroline, Melissa, Nancy, Janet, Renee, George, Kim, Ben, Luke, Andy, Dinesh, Jenna, Steven, Sarah, Frances, Debra, Caitlin, Sandi, Scott, Steve, Debbie, Jimmy, Fiona, Bec, Jade, Andrew, Bambi, Kanthie,

If you’d like to find them, you’ll have to check out my list – sorry, not going through each one to hyperlink but all definitely worth finding and following.

And of course, not forgetting all the amazing Sydney people who I miss and all the Sydney events I am missing. Proud parent moment to see Jen Bishop carrying forth my #prjournolove passion with an event for PRs and Journos. I’ll be meeting with @cshawyer, @mshawyer and the lovely @sourcebottle so see if we can get a Melbourne #prjournolove meet up and running. Watch this space…

PS – I would love to be able to add photos of events and people I’ve met but alas, this is one thing I have not yet mastered or integrated into my daily life. I will try harder.

The Perfect Pitch for some #prjournolove

As an active member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) I have a fondness for the organisation that has attempted to regulate the industry and which has keenly provided public relations practitioners with an overarching body of support. Although I do feel there is still much potential for the PRIA to function as a widely acknowledged authority, they have certainly given members and guests a great number of events for professional development and networking. The Perfect Pitch, hosted by the New Practitioners Committee last Thursday 16 July, is one such function that was a great success and an exquisite example of #prjournolove.

Inviting journalists to speak to a room full of PR practitioners about what constitutes a perfect pitch can only lead to a greater understanding between the two professions, bridging the gap of ‘us and them’. I know I have blogged about this topic before but my determination to see the PR versus Journalism ‘issue’ dissolve is strong. The journalists who generously gave their time to speak with the so called other side were: Erin Kisby (Health and Lifestyle Editor at New Idea), Ben Ulm (EP at Nine), Hannah Rand (Senior Editor at Sunday Magazine) and Peter Blasina otherwise known as the Gadget Guy (tech expert for Seven and a hots of other media outlets including his own publications).

The general consensus from the speakers came down to three main points:

  • know the media publication you are pitching to and target the appropriate section and journalist
  • timing is everything – know the lead times and when media deadlines are and don’t contact them at these times
  • pitch succinctly and factually; get straight to the point in email and/or phone pitching

I was relieved to know that I already practice these pitching gospels but it was the face to face contact with each of these journalists that I believe holds the key for successful relationship building. Making to effort to get to know a journalist, their role and their media outlet shows respect and understanding for their side of the story. This, in turn, will assist a PR in pitching the most effective angle and, when a relationship beyond pitching and following up has been established, the pitch will more than likely be considered.

For the better established PR Journalist relationships, an average pitch may be discussed by both parties to develop a stronger angle which is a truly magnificent display of #prjournolove. A brilliant example was given by Peter Blasina about a persistent PR professional who did some extraordinary research to secure Peter’s interest which lead to astounding results for an online golf store. [Here’s your challenge and prompt – for more information about this example, why not use it as a lead in to get to know the Gadget Guy?]

Although it can seem daunting and just a little bit scary to go the extra mile to get to know the media you are pitching to, it is worth it. As PRs, we should already be good at networking and by showing respect and willingness to better understand journalists we can all spread the #prjournolove for those who determine how successful a media relations campaign will be. Try it. You might like it.