Connections - Summer 2017 - 23

Here are some helpful
tips for how to help your
association's message stand
out among the clutter.

Media Training
Prior to conducting your
media pitch, you should have
your designated spokespeople
prepared and ready to talk
at a moment's notice.
Media training is essential for
everyone dealing with the press
in 2017. Shorter story lengths,
changing personnel and how
stories are selected for coverage
based on online performance is
different than it was in even 2015.
A media training course,
which Curran PR offers, can
help your people understand
why journalists act the way they
do and report on the stories
they cover. Most importantly,
it can teach you how to keep
media relationships growing.

You wouldn't buy a new
refrigerator without doing some
research. The same is true of
working with the media.
Buy a copy of the newspaper
you're planning to pitch. Watch
several broadcasts of the station
you are hoping will carry your
news. Listen to the radio program
you are planning to pitch.
Only by doing your research
will you be able to learn what
types of stories your target
media outlet likes and the
best reporter to approach.

Knowing on what day to
pitch a story, and at what hour
of the day, takes practice.
A general rule of thumb
is not to pitch a story right
when the station is starting a
news broadcast or when the
newspaper is going to press.
Do you have pictures that help
tell your story? Make sure they are

ready to be shared if a reporter
asks for them.
Working with the media takes
chutzpah. Do not be afraid to call
the media outlet and ask when they
like to receive pitches. They, and
you, will be glad you did.

Social Media
Some reporters feel that an
organization's social media
channels give a more accurate
representation of the organization's
culture than the official website.
Don't be surprised if they check
you out online before they say yes
to your media pitch.
Make sure that you have
determined before your media
pitching starts if your social
media channels are meant to
appeal to general consumers
or only to your membership.
Having your online voice
established beforehand will
support the role of social media
as a validation tool for members
of the media who are considering
covering your news.

Media relations is an art. It can
often require a delicate dance that
some people do not have the time to
engage in or the desire to perform.
When assigning the task of media
relations, association leaders
need to be sure to select someone
who has an engaging demeanor
and is quick on their feet. Make
sure the person appreciates
meeting deadlines but is also very
comfortable dealing with plans
that can change unexpectedly.
And, the leadership of the
association has to understand and
acknowledge the pressures facing
their communications staff. The
organizations who understand
that working with the media
means being patient and working
according to the sometimes crazy
timelines of the media, are the ones
who enjoy successful relationships
with journalists.

Many organizations have
found it is more cost-effective,
and it gives them access to a
more senior practitioner, when
they contract with an outside
public relations agency.
Many associations contract
out for lobbying, association
management or financial
services. Doing the same for
public relations is not out of the
norm and should be considered
standard operating procedure.

No matter what form your media
relations and PR program takes, it
is essential to step back and review
it from time to time.
Are you reaching the right
audience? Was the information
presented in a manner that
safeguarded your reputation?
Did your last story come across
as defensive or as advocating for
your profession? Was this year's
board representative comfortable
talking with the press or did they
seem panicked?
Are your social media channels
representing you accurately?
Analyzing the answers to
these questions can help you
refine your approach and help your
PR message stand out from among
the many such messages journalists
receive each and every day. 
Dan Curran is
president of
Curran Public
Relations, an
Atlanta-based public
relations agency that
helps organizations increase their
visibility and market share through
strategic media placements. Curran
is a 20-year member of the Public
Relations Society of America. A
past member of the Empire State
Society of Association Executives
in New York, he is a long-time
member of the Georgia Society of
Association Executives. Learn more
c o n n e c t i o n s   >  2 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Summer 2017

GSAE News & Events
New Members
Living Legends: Lori K. Spear, CAE, Ragan Cohn, CAE, Karl Kirsch, CAE
A Win/Win Week for Restaurants and Their Customers
Meetings Thought Leadership
6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Media Coverage
Standing Out Among the Clutter
GSAE Rock Stars Gather in Macon for the 2017 Annual Meeting
Summer Luncheon
Destination spotlight: Savannah, Jekyll Island & St. Simons Island
Choices: A Taste for Online Groceries?
Index of Advertisers
Index of Advertisers/
Connections - Summer 2017 - Intro
Connections - Summer 2017 - bellyband1
Connections - Summer 2017 - bellyband2
Connections - Summer 2017 - cover1
Connections - Summer 2017 - cover2
Connections - Summer 2017 - 3
Connections - Summer 2017 - 4
Connections - Summer 2017 - 5
Connections - Summer 2017 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Summer 2017 - 7
Connections - Summer 2017 - 8
Connections - Summer 2017 - 9
Connections - Summer 2017 - 10
Connections - Summer 2017 - New Members
Connections - Summer 2017 - Living Legends: Lori K. Spear, CAE, Ragan Cohn, CAE, Karl Kirsch, CAE
Connections - Summer 2017 - 13
Connections - Summer 2017 - 14
Connections - Summer 2017 - 15
Connections - Summer 2017 - A Win/Win Week for Restaurants and Their Customers
Connections - Summer 2017 - 17
Connections - Summer 2017 - 18
Connections - Summer 2017 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Summer 2017 - 6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Media Coverage
Connections - Summer 2017 - 21
Connections - Summer 2017 - Standing Out Among the Clutter
Connections - Summer 2017 - 23
Connections - Summer 2017 - GSAE Rock Stars Gather in Macon for the 2017 Annual Meeting
Connections - Summer 2017 - 25
Connections - Summer 2017 - 26
Connections - Summer 2017 - Summer Luncheon
Connections - Summer 2017 - Destination spotlight: Savannah, Jekyll Island & St. Simons Island
Connections - Summer 2017 - Choices: A Taste for Online Groceries?
Connections - Summer 2017 - Index of Advertisers/
Connections - Summer 2017 - cover3
Connections - Summer 2017 - cover4