The field of public relations requires several skills, among them: strong writing skills, understanding how to target the correct media outlet for a story, being able to succinctly deliver a pitch to a reporter (in one minute or less) and, finally, persistence.
For me, persistence is about putting in hard work and not giving up. As one of the hardest working PR professionals you will know, I certainly need the technical skills of writing, etc., but persistence is often what generates results. At times, I need to demonstrate respectful persistence using email and/or telephone when contacting a reporter to pitch a story. (And if they say “no,” I accept that answer.)
When a reporter contacts me for a story about you or your business, I will persistently pursue you for that media opportunity until you tell me yes or no. If the answer is yes, I will tirelessly follow up to make sure the reporter’s deadline is met.
That persistence is what earns trust with the media. They know I will make sure a client comes through with answers to their questions so they can meet their deadline.
What persistence is NOT – bugging a reporter multiple times to run a story or repeatedly sending press releases to media outlets that do not cover a client’s news.
Persistence IS – respecting a reporter’s time when pitching a story and taking the time to understand which media outlets want to cover a client’s news.
It helps to know the difference.
– Sue Voyles