Ronald N. Levy (Nov. 27, 2013): Jack is right as is Fraser on this one but perhaps even more important than media relations tactical skills is strategic understanding of what the public cares about most.
Senior non-PR executives often don't get it. "Tell them about the advantages of our product," marketing directors urge in effect, but 99% of people may care little or alost nothing aout the product and its advantages. The marketing exec cares and thinks millions of people will feel the same way but they do't.
"Make clear what businesses we're really in and how we help the economy," CEOs urge but it's the same problem: who cares? The media know that almost no one may care so the media (aside from pulications for investors) give this almost no coverage.
You have a much etter chance of creating happiness among your company's top executives if they want your PR to help bring a win in Washington. This is because one winning strategy in pblic policy fights is to show how what your side wants can hdelp perhaps 100 milion Americans to pay less, earn more, protect health or be proud of America's leadership and THIS--money, health and pride--people care aout very much. The media know this and are glad to run facts on what the public cares about bigtime.
You may have an excellent chance of creating happiness among your top executives--and perhaps worldwide media coverage--if you look at the five or ten biggest causes of death in America, then announce that your company, in an effort to help save millions of lives from a big health hazard, is backing a major university's or cancer center's research thrust.
Your company backing a great research team to try eliminating Alzheimer's, prostate cancer or a widespread kind of heart disease--that's important news that many media will be glad to carry and perhaps a billion people worldwide will be glad to learn. If your photo shows a lab with your senior officer and top world-famous doctors meeting at Harvard, Memorial Sloan-Kettering or Cleveland Clinic, you may not need great media kills to create great coverage.
Will media sills help? Sure but you don't have to master all of them, you can hire them. Thousands of PR firms have the skills, and great PR firms of all sizes have great media skills.
A key to excellent coverage can be excellence in not just media skills but in recognizing a project that the media and public may care about hugely.
If you can appeal to almost everyone with a heart, a prostate glad or a fear of losing sharpness with age, you can make millions of people happy perhaps none more so that your senior executives.