Serving Up Fresh, Tasty Editorial Content on Time, Every Time

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Journalism_1 - CopyA public relations agency’s role can be likened to that of a sous-chef who must please two distinctive yet equally important types of people. The chef must prepare and/or supervise the preparation of delectable meals to delight the restaurant’s customers. At the same time,  he/she must satisfy the requirements of the boss – likely the restaurant owner. For example, the food must look and taste delicious – both the customer and restaurant owner insist on those qualities. At the same time, the chef must not spend too much time preparing any one particular dish or spend too much money on the ingredients to make the entrée. After all, the restaurant owner has a budget to meet and a profit to make.

In public relations, the first important person or customer is our client, whom we must satisfy completely by promoting his/her product, technology or service via various outlets such as online and print publications, social media channels as well as at trade shows, forums and symposia. Because a most effective way to promote products and services is still via trade or business magazines and newspapers, we have another customer to serve.
That customer is the editor/journalist/industry analyst of the publication, blog or research report. Trusted relationships with editors/reporters/producers/analysts are key in public relations. Over the years, we’ve developed excellent contacts and continue to nurture these relationships daily. It’s these media professionals – aka industry influencers – whom we approach for thought-leadership coverage. With our high-level focus and strategy, we are skilled at appealing to the editor’s needs for relevant content that readers/viewers learn from and enjoy. At the same time, we are highlighting our clients’ products and services without being overtly commercial. This is a delicate balance, and a recipe for success in managing media relations and meeting or exceeding client expectations.

Editors/journalists/analysts need credible resources for their articles, blogs and research reports. They need to quote experts on the subject matter they are covering. They also need complex technology explained to them so that they can understand it and then write about it for their readers to assimilate. All this researching, writing, and information dissemination takes time. No matter how efficient or effective they may be, these media professionals depend on knowledgeable, trustworthy sources for their material. Fortunately, J&A is there to provide them with the latest technology news and trends from our clients in a timely manner.

In other words, we whet the editor’s appetite for “gourmet” content. We then satisfy that need with our client’s desire for top-tier media exposure. This visibility ultimately leads to increased sales and market share. We serve our client by securing opportunities in top-tier media outlets. We serve our editor by meeting his/her deadlines and providing fresh, informative content. If the timing does not always work out perfectly, we use businesslike diplomacy and, OK, occasional pleading to achieve our goal.

We’ve been successful for over 26 years, so serving two distinct yet equally important persons seems to be working. We trust that our track record will continue, serving up fresh, relevant content to delight the “palates” of clients and editors on time and on budget.

 

Reports of the Death of Grammar are Greatly Exaggerated

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Grammar_4Paraphrasing the famous quote by Mark Twain on his reported death is an appropriate way to begin this blog. With tweeting and texting often considered the new-normal way of communicating quickly, you may wonder why anyone still cares about proper grammar, correct spelling, punctuation and syntax. Despite the shorthand uses of words and phrases, however, it is still important to use proper grammar and punctuation when writing and speaking. Why?  To begin with, proper grammar captures your readers or listeners’ attention as they concentrate on what you have to say and not your mistakes.

No matter what language you use to speak or write, using correct grammar not only helps you communicate more effectively and precisely, but also helps you avoid embarrassment. Globally, the proper use of grammar shows that the speaker or writer is an educated person who understands the subtleties of the language. Conversely, grammatical errors can indicate that you are not focusing on your words or, that perhaps you do not understand the mechanics of your own language.

Some grammar errors lead to sentences that mean something, just not what you intended. For example, misplacing the modifier “only” could lead to this sentence: “I only drive to work and back.” If you meant that you never walk to work, nor take a subway, great. However, if you meant that the only route you ever drive is the one between your house and your company headquarters, and you never drive anywhere else, then you should have said, “I drive only to work and back.”

Even if your grammar is good enough to make others understand what you mean, constant errors might give them the impression that you are not paying attention to what you are saying or writing. Even if they otherwise would think highly of your words, your errors might simply distract them. Good grammar keeps your readers or listeners focused on what you have to say.

Perhaps most importantly of all, in formal communications, such as a company’s annual report, one or more of your shareholders may be a retired English teacher who still remembers the explicit rules as well as the nuances of English grammar.  Offend her, and she may sell her stock and make a fuss at your annual shareholders’ meeting. Please her, and she may buy hundreds more of your shares and tweet about your company’s attention to detail to her 985,302 Twitter followers.

This post written by J&A account executive, Pat Rarus.

© Copyright Jennings & Associates Communications, Inc.