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Seth Linden shares his views on effective communications in a fast-changing media environment.

July 18, 2023

DLPR’s president featured on O’Dwyer’s ‘PR’s Top Pros Talk’ podcast.

Read below for a summary of Seth’s comments:

DLPR President Seth Linden recently shared his views on effective communications in a fast-changing media environment with Douglas Simon of DS Media, for O’Dwyer’s ‘PR’s Top Pros Talk’ podcast.

Seth and Doug discussed a wide range of industry topics, including DS’s recent survey on TV producers’ attitudes toward media pitching. It found that 82% of producers are frustrated by pitches that do not apply to them or show an understanding of their focus.

“Clearly, it means the industry can do better,” said Seth, a former broadcast reporter who recalls being “bombarded” with off-base pitches. “That’s why 20 years ago we crafted the motto: ‘It’s the media that matters,’ meaning PR professionals need to pay attention not just to news outlets, but to building and maintaining relationships with key and very specific reporters and producers.”

“It seems simple, but time and again journalists feel that many PR professionals don’t understand their beat or their work. Those who do are recognized and able to build relationships of mutual respect.”

Seth noted that the media landscape is more competitive than ever, with more experts competing for airtime and attention—from fewer reporters and outlets. “Breaking through to the media requires nuance and skill. It means having the right messaging, staying on top of the news cycle, making sure your spokespeople are effective, and knowing how to meet reporters and producers’ needs.”

“When done effectively, the rewards are substantial: To generate high quality, consistent media counts even more than it did ten years ago, in many respects,” he added.

That means PR pros need to “pound the pavement” to get to know reporters and producers and gain their trust. “Relationships matter,” Seth emphasized.

It also means developing strategic partnerships with clients, with a level of candor and honesty, to properly manage expectations. “You have to be able to tell a client, ‘This is newsworthy, this is not newsworthy, [or] your spokespeople need more work before they go on a broadcast network.’”

Extra focus on messaging and preparation is more important than ever to help companies and their executives leverage media channels for the benefit of their stakeholders. “Effective media outreach is becoming more important for clients because they need to demonstrate transparency, show conviction, and break through the noise,” he stated.