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CIPR Fresh-Media Relations Workshop

Hanson Search have been regulars at the CIPR Fresh Workshops but this was our first on Media Relations. Leading the seminar was Miki Haines-Sanger, Managing Director of Golden Goose PR and Winner at the recent Cannes Lions. Miki focused on the Press Release- a PR tool that can be your best friend but also your worst enemy if worded wrongly. Keeping it short and sweet but factual were the key points we learnt about how to write a great press release. Making sure you know the correct purpose is also vital – it is not a marketing tool or an advert but an article documenting a new campaign or event. We then discussed the possible problems that arise when writing a press release on behalf of a client. Your client will want to channel certain information- even if irrelevant or not newsworthy. Client relations is something that you need to remain firm with, you are the PR experts and convincing them you know best is sometimes the biggest challenge! We learnt a great tip –if you have a journalist contact, even if in a different specialism, ask them to look at your client’s version of your press release and they will give honest advice and feedback on whether it is newsworthy or not. You need to build trust with your client and if you have industry contacts, your client will be more willing to respond to your changes. Other tips Miki gave were about having conviction in your writing and adding by the first rule of Press Releases and never writing in the first person! Expect to deal with several drafts and changes by the client and be able to deal with their personal involvement is one of the biggest challenges of media relations. If you are struggling to fit in a key fact into your piece, slotting it into a quote from your Client is a fail safe way to include key statistics without losing engagement with the audience! One last piece of advice was that if you can’t explain it on the phone to a journalist in two sentences then it probably isn’t newsworthy!

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Author: Alice Weightman

As Founder and CEO, Alice established Hanson Search in 2002 and has since gained a reputation as one of the leading search professionals in senior appointments across communications, developing an incredible network globally.

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