The early bird gets the worm.• Time really counts, especially for same-day deadlines.• The sooner you reply, the more receptive he will be.• May give more attention to first responses.
Respond in writing.• Gives him something he can quote, especially in deadline crunch.• Gives him an idea of person’s expertise.• Have background info ready, so you can respond quickly.
Offer a real expert.• Dont offer just anyone -- make sure he/she really knows the subject.• Explain why he/she is the best person to talk to.• Include a short bio – not generic – explaining his/her qualifications.
Understand the odds.• Can get hundreds of responses, but might only quote two or three.• Dont take it personally if he doesn’t use your expert. It doesn’t mean the expert wasn’t great – just not what he was looking for.
Stay on topic.• His No. 1 pet peeve: responding to a query to suggest another story.• Don’t use a ProfNet query to pitch someone else. Make your pitch separate from the query.
Don’t call.• Pet peeve No. 2: phone calls, especially on deadline.• If he wants phone responses, he’ll say so in the query.• He really does go through all email responses. If he’s interested, he’ll contact you.
Establish trust with experts.• Experts need to trust their communications professional.• When a faculty member trusts the PR person, it facilities responses.
Have open communication.• Speaking with the media can be daunting for experts.• Establish open lines of communication with experts so they can express their misgivings and you can help them work through it.
Don’t be afraid to say “no.”• No one is expected to know everything about a given topic.• If a journalist asks something you are not comfortable addressing, just say so.
Share your mission.• Make sure experts understand the larger goals of the organization.• At Unity College, faculty and staff understand that sustainability science is the center of the curriculum.
Keep experts in the loop.• When replying to ProfNet queries, send the query to the expert as a head’s up they may be contacted.• This helps the expert think about specifics they may offer. Can also be used as a quick follow- up to the reporter who sent the query.
Self-promotion is good.• Be open to media opportunities that promote yourself and your work.• Don’t be afraid of self-promotion. If done correctly, you are not only promoting yourself, but also your institution.
Ask your PR person for help.• Make the path from you to the PR office well- worn.• This may seem awkward at first, but allowing yourself to be put on a pedestal will also elevate the profile of your organization.
Communicate with PR.• Inform your PR department proactively about what you are working on.• Meet them for lunch and “talk shop.”
Follow @profnet for link to recap.Visit www.profnet.com for more info.