AHA loves media relations

At AHA, we love media relations. That’s not necessarily a common thing among communicators. I know many PR people who don’t like the media relations aspect of their job at all. In fact, I have had several senior communicators laughingly say they are so glad that they don’t have to do that anymore (since they got the manager, director, or VP title).

That comment always surprises me. Pitching journalists, producers, bloggers – everyone that has a role in sharing a good story – is one of the most challenging, rewarding and FUN things we do here at AHA. We have a solid crew here when it comes to identifying and telling an organization’s story in an interesting and compelling way. We have a defined process of how we develop a story idea, which media we target with the idea or angle, and when. It is all planned out – and every component matters.

Sometimes, we will get someone asking us to remove them from an email list. It happens. Not often, but it happens. So we remove them immediately. Respectfully. Even if their request to be removed wasn’t done in a way that we thought was respectful. We don’t get into email or Twitter dust ups with people. It’s not who we are as AHA and it’s not who we are as individuals. It’s not personal. We don’t need to be right. We just want to get positive coverage for our clients. Sometimes that means taking a step back and realizing that the response isn’t about us (or if it is – understanding why).

When I was at Maclean’s, we knew who the good PR people were and who sent out news releases for no reason. We worked with the good ones. It was that simple. The world has changed drastically and social media adds a new element to media relations. We still strongly believe that if you treat people with respect and if you choose to not take it personally, it’s for the better. Of course, targeting who gets your pitch or release and having a good story to tell goes a long, long way.

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