Public Relations and Journalism: The Intersecting Highway by Akilah Bolden-Monifa, Director of Communications and Producer

Monday August 23, 2010 PM
At the 2010 National Association of Black Journalists Convention in San Diego I was a panelist for the associate members and spoke on “Public Relations and Journalism: The Intersecting Highway” The other panelists were Marcus Osborne, Benet Wilson, and Kim Bardakian.

Since I wear both hats, it was apropos. On the public relations side I am the Director of Communications for three CBS owned and operated television stations: KPIX, KBCW, and KSTW and five radio stations in the CBS SF cluster. I also produce a weekly television show, Bay Sunday, an eclectic mix of light news, entertainment, and community affairs. (http://www.cbs5.com/baysunday)

As such I both pitch to media outlets and am pitched to by folks who are publicists or who want to get on my show.

The panel was standing room only with both journalists and public relations folks in the audience.

The take away lessons were regardless of the medium: print, broadcast, online (including social media) you still have to know the outlet, know who consumes the outlet, and know how the gatekeeper of information likes to be pitched, develop relationships, and be a source as well as a resource.

Your pitch must be tailored for the outlet. And individual pitches, no broadcast or blanketing.

It is particularly important to “preach beyond the choir” if you are trying to influence folks. Expand your social network and media lists.

And particularly in this digital age it is also important to in the words of Professor Allissa Richardson of Morgan State said in another panel: “digitize, publicize, and analyze”.

There should be a digital record, obviously publicity is the name of the game to get the word out, and you should do a post mortem on your efforts to both determine the efficacy and figure out ways to improve.

Get your message out and received.

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