Sword and the Script

Media relations is mission essential for PR



Look closely in the center; who’s on belay?

by Frank Strong

PR pros are loving content marketing.  It’s the chance to create our own audience, to communicate directly with customers and prospects.  That’s all fine and well, but I believe the reason PR pros are good at content is because we are good at media relations.

Consider this:  Army types will understand the concept of a METL — the mission essential task list.  The METL is a guideline to training, where countless lessons learned have proven there are certain essential tasks a Solider must do if they are to have the capability to accomplish a mission if (or in these times when) they are deployed.

For a Soldier, he or she must be able to place accurate fire on an enemy target.  This is essential.  It’s the most basic task in the Army.  Yet the Soldier must be able to perform this task in any condition.  Tired.  Hungry. Wet. Cold.  Hot. Sick. Lonely. Injured.   It comes down to that one task that must be instinctive, ingrained in muscle memory:  sight picture, breathing, trigger squeeze. 

It’s great if a Soldier can climb ropes.  It’s wonderful if they can rappel down a cliff.  It’s a bonus if they can operate satellite communications.  But when push comes to shove, it’s the flawless operation of that standard issue M4 carbine that nine times out of 10, is going to save lives and stick it to the enemy.

Lot of folks don’t like the war analogies.  Business isn’t war.  Not even close.  But there are times when I as a career Soldier believe there are analogies that fit with near perfection. This is one of them.

Media relations is HARD work.  Finding the news hooks is a skill that is learned with experience and effort.  It requires precision. Building trust as an experienced professional that can deliver what they promise takes time.

The reason PR pros are good at content, the reason PR pros get links that make SEOs weep, the reason that PR pros have a natural inclination for social media is that we are, or should be good at media relations.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Confessions and Media Relations 

Photo:  Smuggler’s Notch, Army Mountain Warfare School, Winter Phase. 

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2 comments
AlisaT
AlisaT

I don't have a problem with the war analogy. What's the point of waking up in the morning and going into your job (PR, Soldier, Taco Bell drive-thru cashier) if you're not going in with a fight? The country may not depend on your PR "precision" but your clients do. Great post.

 

(And BTW, I worked at Taco Bell when I was 16, placed on the drive-thru because of my "flawless operation" of the register!)

Frank_Strong
Frank_Strong moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @AlisaT Great anecdote, Alisa!  There's a certain work ethic that's notable in people who held jobs as teens!