Irene Bedmar, Communication consultant, knows very well that a traditional press office is not just writing the releases, but it is rather about providing advice to brands. She also talks about how the relationship between the client, the agency, and the media should be.
What does a traditional press office bring to a brand?
It is not uncommon for those who do not work in this industry, to have the impression that anyone can do well in communication, but this is not the case at all. The press office is not just to write a press release, but rather providing advice to the brands on what to prioritize in your writing, what tone to speak, what data to hide, and what information should be saved so you do not play your last card in the first round. In addition, as professionals we have constant contact with the media, and therefore we know how they behave, what kind of questions they can ask, what kind of topics they are interested in… This allows us to focus our efforts on clear objectives without losing a minute.
What is the best thing going on right now for communication media in the digital era?
Without any doubt, immediacy and measurement, as it is possible to quantify with precision the number of people reading them. With the printed versions, if there was any important last-minute news, but the press had already started, there was nothing to do but to wait for the next edition. The digital world allows you to refresh and update at any time, plus make streaming broadcasts with basic technology, therefore minimizing costs. On the second subject, traditionally, in the offline sphere a printed copy was read by three people, where currently professionals are now capable of even determine the behavior of the reader: how long it has been on our site where you clicked, etc. This gives us a feedback that is worth gold, and advertisers pay for it. They are other of the great beneficiaries of the digital world, since the number of media is greater and the costs of a media plan are cheaper.
How does the relation client-agency-media journalists should be?
Clients want to trust in the agency so that it has daily contact with the journalist. That is the value chain that must be followed, as the three elements in it are extremely important. In this case, in the public relations, the client must be clear that whoever is in charge is the means: they should be open to any possibility of. On the other hand, if a brand fails to the media, we can say goodbye to good publicity that for the rest of eternity… And amidst all this, the role of the agency is to be the mediator between both parties: we train the client to speak the public audience and we shape the information he provides. On the other hand, we make sure that journalists have all the materials they need -and many more- so that they can develop a quality information where our brand appears explicit or implicitly.
How can you offer quality content that engage media professionals?
This is where the approach we give to information gains value, because it is not the same to tell a fact in a certain way or to turn transform it into a newsworthy event. We are the ones who turn the most boring content into valuable information for the journalists that will provide them with advertisers and readers, and also will facilitate the work. We are here to make their work easier.
What would you recommend to a company spokesperson that faces communication media for the first time?
To practice as much as possible, guided by experts if possible. When facing with an interview, especially if it is television, when nerves can ruin everything. That is why we recommend that you keep in mind the three key messages you want to communicate, and try above all to have them appointed before the end of the interview. And, apart from what is said, keep in mind that body language is also very important, so we usually give some tips such as not crossing your arms, to try to look into your eyes, sit correctly without being rigid, have a support object between your hands… There are many tips, but training before that first contact with the media is essential.