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2019 PRedictions: Know your audience better

This blog is part of our PRedictions series, a collection of posts from PR and communications leaders offering insights, advice, and opinions on how our industry can grow in 2019. To view our full list of 2019 PRedictions, click here. Ian Hood, CEO and Co-Founder, Babel, predicts: 

If you’ve been operating in the world of public relations for any period of time, you’ll have seen evidence of the (largely justified) annoyance felt by journalists who receive a badly targeted pitch.

If you’re going to pitch the BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, with news of your client’s Initial Coin Offering for their super-duper, blockchain-powered cryptocurrency, you’d better watch out. Consider yourself lucky if you’re ignored, because if you aren’t your client is likely to feature for all the wrong reasons – Rory is not a fan and he makes it known.

You will also have made the job much more difficult for the rest of us. Every time a journalist receives a poorly written – or worse, irrelevant – pitch, it’s one more strike against the name of PR, and one less reason for the journalist to take note.

So, what would interest Rory? Well, that’s up to you to find out, and the only way to do that is to put the effort in. It isn’t a particularly glamorous activity in the world of PR, but getting to know your targets, whether they are journalists, analysts, social media influencers or end-users, is probably the single most important task we undertake.

Take your time, flex your networking skills, hone your client’s news to fit a journalist’s beat, and then curate that razor-targeted media pitch: the end result will be worth it.

A final mini-tip – if anyone out there is pushing a tech product that can perfect the production of sourdough bread, the aforementioned Rory Cellan-Jones may just be your man…