5 reasons Millennials and PR agencies are the perfect match

The Millennial generation are making their mark on the professional workforce, gradually climbing the corporate ladder and bagging leadership roles, with many taking an entrepreneurial path and running their own successful business.

There are a lot of opinions out there about this (large) group of individuals, who make up a huge percentage of today’s workforce. Some say they’re entitled, narcissistic and lazy – but if you can harness their potential in the right ways, you might see the magic that makes this chosen generation a special one.

Speaking from first-hand experience as a Millennial myself, we can break away from the archaic and stiff stereotype office environment, and are fiercely creative. We thrive on collaborating and brainstorming, but can also be independent workers who enjoy the alternative, less beaten path and the thrill of a challenge.

We can help push the envelope for your brand, forcing and enabling your team to come up with better and more challenging ideas that stray away from cookie cutter corporations. We’re not perfect – and there are always going to be challenges for companies managing multi-generational employees – but we can give that edge and bite you might need.

If you’re on a bit of a hiring spree for your business or agency, keep in mind the following reasons Millennials can help with your overall workflow and success.

  1.     We multitask like we were born juggling

I’ve got my headphones plugged into Mixcloud, both Whatsapp, Facebook and my email open on my browser, and I’m Skyping colleagues while writing this blog.

Millennials are natural multitaskers, having grown up in a distracting world full of screens, bright lights and loud noises. Yes, for some it can be distracting – I mean, it’s not like we’re all the same – but a rather natural ability to multitask forces us to practice discipline and time management to get top priority tasks done.

  1.     Creativity and brainstorming is our bread and butter

We thrive on collaboration and forming ideas. We enjoy the social aspect of work, throwing ideas around and drawing on others’ expertise and knowledge to shape our own thoughts and opinions. We like strategy, and we like to feel part of something bigger. We want the big picture to feature our faces (perhaps this is where we get someone narcissistic…), meaning we’re willing to put in the creative work needed to execute big campaigns and manage dynamic clients.

  1.     We’re outspoken

Millennials aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Because we want to be heard, we are confident in our abilities and won’t hesitate to share our ideas, thoughts and displeasure equally. However, this doesn’t always work in our favour – it’s easy to come across as unreasonable or defensive, but with the right management and support in place, we can very much harness our strong opinions in the right way for your business.

  1.     We’re hyper-aware

We are in tuned with current affairs, trends and understand how social media works. We scroll through our feed in the morning like reading the papers. We’re present on multiple platforms, taking in bite-sized pieces of information about what is happening around the world around us, making sure we don’t miss anything. Sure, sometimes our knowledge isn’t in-depth, but you can’t argue that most of us don’t have an awareness of the latest news and trends. This can only help with building ideas for campaigns and story ideas for journalists that are timely and interesting.

  1.     We are egalitarian – and we expect our employers to be, too

Our generation is a diverse one. We have progressed to become more understanding and accepting of cultures, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation and much more, and we are therefore generally empathetic to differences. This is especially helpful when it comes to client management in a social setting; we’re more aware of different cultural practices such as bowing, saying “cheers” in different languages, and so on.

At the end of the day, Millennials aren’t really all that different from the generations before them in terms of what they want to get out of their lives. They simply come from a different, more modern, background – and depending on the individual and the company they work for, this could work for or against them.

Intuition, skill, capabilities, attitude and a smidgen of luck all play a part in achieving your ideal hire. All the best!

Interested in boosting your employer branding through a strong PR or content campaign to attract the best talent? We can help! Get in touch at hello@mutant.com.my 

A musician’s guide to public relations

Like any young boy, I went through phases about what I was convinced I was going to do with my life. When I was 10, I was sure I wanted to repair cars for a living. When I was 12, I wanted to be a musician after I first picked up the guitar, and by the time I was 22 I had been introduced to the wonderful world of public relations.

The car thing fell by the wayside, but the music has always been a constant – I’ve been playing at local shows with a band since I was 14. Of course, times have changed and the advent of YouTube and other online platforms have made things a lot more convenient for musicians to get themselves out there.

Along the way, I’ve met a lot of people and picked up a thing or two, be it about making music or the art of connecting with people and audiences. Thanks to my chosen career in PR, I’ve been able to apply a lot of what I’ve learned into my music and managing the profile of my band, and vice versa.

1. Messaging

Messaging in this context refers to what your audience takes away from listening to you, which happens to be a very big component in PR. How do I explain my music to an individual in a way that is most appealing to them? I came up with a formula and translated it into the context of PR:

  • Relevance

How do I convince the organiser I am relevant to their event? What relevance does my music have to the audience?

Similarly in PR, how do I craft my message in a way that’s most relevant to the audience or media? Would this media be interested in the business aspect of my client or the R&D done for my client’s product or service?

  • Tone

Part of the beauty of playing music in a small community is having the chance to meet people of different ages and backgrounds. In order to better relay my key messages, I use different analogies and references to get them across.

Just like in PR, depending on who you are talking to, your choice of words have to be picked carefully and need to be tailored to engage various individuals.

  • Engagement

What makes some music more popular than others? I’ve always believed that it’s a result of how that music subconsciously relates to a person one way or another.

When it comes to PR, I translate that principle and take a step back before engaging with people, by researching about them before speaking to them. That way, it allows me to better relate my messages to their interest and seamlessly advocate the mutual benefits.

2. Always be ready

As the great Ronda Rousey said, “I don’t train to get ready, I train to stay ready”.

It’s not uncommon for musicians to be booked at the very last moment as a replacement. The challenge lies in getting the band ready in time to put up nothing short of a spectacular show, because that’s all that matters.

Similarly in PR, it’s not unheard of for clients to request for a press release to be done and blasted the next day. Just like the audience at a music festival, all that matters is getting the job done. This is where I realised that systems and processes in are important to get things done in the most accurate and time efficient way. Who will write the release? Who will collate a media list? Who will pitch?

3. Sincerity

Last but not least, being sincere goes a long way and usually has a big part to play in the art of convincing. Everyone can tell when someone is not sincere, and faking it ‘til you make it will never work when you’re in it for the long haul. By being genuine in your cause, you will find yourself adopting the right tone whilst relating well to your audience.

In PR, we meet different people all the time and first impressions are somewhat of a big deal. One way to combat the potential problem of being misconstrued is to be sincere – that alone subconsciously sets the mind on the right path.

If you’re interested in exploring what a PR strategy can do for your business, get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.my

4 media pitching mistakes to avoid

Media pitching is one of the key components making up public relations, but the act of pitching is often easier said than done.

To many people it sounds simple enough: “I’ll just write a press release about my client’s business or event, find some media contacts, and send it to them! They’ll definitely run a story because it’s so interesting.”

Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than writing and sending emails.

Pitching typically involves a PR professional working with a business to identify key messages, interesting story angles, writing one (or multiple) targeted releases for specific media, and utilising their strong personal connections with media to ensure your story gets the coverage you feel it deserves.

Journalists receive a phenomenal number of press releases every day. The chances they won’t even open an email from you are high. The ball is in your court to do everything possible to ensure your press release reaches the right journalist and media, with the right message that is likely to get the attention of their target audience and readers. That’s what they care about – so that’s what you have to focus on.

And yet, mistakes are so often made during this process, and sometimes the smallest blunders have the biggest consequences. Being aware of the following potential mistakes can make all the difference between a story getting published… or sent to the trash.

Pitching the right story to the wrong media

Imagine you are a journalist, and you cover technology-related news, for example. You receive on average about 20 press releases a day and suddenly, you’re pitched something that has nothing to do with what you write about.

Why should you feel the need to respond to that person if they clearly don’t know what your publication covers?

huge-mistake

It sounds simple, but the mistake of pitching non-relevant content to media is probably the largest error seen in the industry. Under pressure to deliver results for client, PR professionals wrongly assume that blasting out a press release to the maximum number of journalists will result in the most coverage.

Not doing enough research before a pitch reflects very poorly on you as a PR pro and annoys journalists who don’t have time to waste as their deadlines loom.

When pitches land in the wrong inboxes, don’t expect journalists to help forward it on to the relevant parties. It is our job to ensure our pitches land in the right hands, not theirs.

Not looking into your email bounce-backs

If you’re pitching via an email blast, you’re bound to come across email bounce-backs. This could be because journalists have gone on vacation or medical leave, or because they’ve left the publication. Perhaps their overflowing inbox is finally just full.

Your job is to ensure they see your news, so you need to determine why they bounced and do something about it Journalists will usually include alternative email addresses in their automated replies to inform you of fellow journalists to get in touch with for your press releases.

Seize this chance to know someone new from the particular media, re-pitch your story and update your media database!

If that fails – PICK UP THE PHONE. It’s amazing how few PR professionals can be bothered to make a call to follow up (more on that later.)

Losing touch

Public relations is all about connections, networking and relationships. Without this, you’re just a person behind a computer hitting ‘send’ over and over again.

Staying in touch with media is what sets you apart from mediocre PR people. Make an effort to touch base with them regularly, catch up for coffees and lunches, and get into the habit of picking up the phone to say hi. Ask them what they’re working on, and whether you might be able to help. The more you stay in touch, the more likely they are to remember you when they do need something from one of your clients.

conversing

As well as staying in touch, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and time zones. When pitching a story that transcends the region, international pitching comes into play. This also means we need to be more mindful of some aspects that can affect pitching efforts.

Always make it known which time zone you are working from. This saves you from leaving the impression that you are difficult to contact (if, you know, they decide to ring you at 4am). Journalists have pressing deadlines to deal with and with you being out of contact when they will require additional information may result in them forgoing the story altogether.

If you’ll be away from the office for a period of time, ensure your colleagues have been properly briefed on what to expect should they come across any media requests. The last thing you want is to lose the chance of a great story placement from a lack of communication.

 Not following up with media

Like I said, journalists’ inboxes are flooded with press releases – meaning yours probably isn’t all that important to them. If you haven’t heard back from a journalist, it is imperative that you follow up on your pitch with a phone call.

By doing this, you will learn whether the journalist has even seen your pitch or received it at all. This gives you a second chance to bring attention to your story, and pitch over the phone in real time. Usually, this is a much better way to get a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If they say no, you can immediately ask why, and try to see whether there’s any way your story can work better for their publication by focusing on a different aspect or angle.

It’s possible a tweak is all it needed – but you might not have known that if you didn’t pick up the phone.

To discuss how Mutant can work with your business to push your story into the media spotlight, please get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.my