As I noted in my recent Online PR whitepaper, there are some novel digital twists occurring within traditional media relations. Take the good old journalist interview. In the past, a journalist would probably have to take at face value a bio provided by the PR person of a prospective interviewee. On LinkedIn, although the background info provided by the person themselves might be of relevance, more value is to be had from what other people think of them ie LinkedIn recommendations.
Here is a practical example. We began working with information risk management specialists ArmstrongAdams in December last year. Tim Kipps is ArmstrongAdams’ spokesperson on all issues related to information risk management and IT security. Tim certainly knows his onions when it comes to his subject matter. However, another thing that I found very impressive were the huge number of recommendations he has on his LinkedIn profile (46). The frequency with which words and phrases like “expertise” and “high integrity” appear has certainly been reassuring to me that in terms of media interviews, we are putting forward someone who is clearly respected in his field and really does know what he is talking about. And is trustworthy. For journalists, that surely has to be a good thing.
It’s also a good thing for a PR too. It is easy to overlook the fact that a PR is often judged by the quality of the spokesperson he/she pitches to the media. Rightly or wrongly, a journalist may view a PR less favourably if the quality of interviewee they pitch is seen as sub-optimal. If both PR and client have a mutual interest in ensuring that only the most qualified and worthwhile spokespeople/interviewees are pitched to the media, then surely that too has to be a good thing.