“Listen.” “Stories are powerful.” “PR firms must be nimble.” There’s much in the philosophy of Qwoted 100 rock star Bryn Lambert that explains her success in the field. But there’s also a hint of puckish surprise in what she enjoys about her roles at Minneapolis-based Media Minefield: “I love to surprise myself in my work.”
Read on as Lambert, celebrating seven years at Media Minefield this month, talks about how she leverages social media platforms to get her clients the exposure they’re seeking in an age of loud noise floors and round-the-clock news cycles. As a former TV journalist, she has plenty of useful insight.
Qwoted: What do you see as the future of PR—technologically, strategically, or in any category you’re passionate about?
Bryn Lambert: Social media platforms will continue to drastically reshape PR into the future. Leveraged strategically, these services provide organizations and even individual leaders with an opportunity to own their message and build their brand like never before. PR firms that go the extra mile — offering executives strategic and managed social media content — will provide the most value for their clients in the years to come. PR experts have the ability to fully understand their client’s message and build relevant, engaging content around it. Social media has and will continue to create a future need for PR firms to be more nimble. Social media moves quickly, so firms need to be ready to react to situations and trends quickly, as well as have the foresight to anticipate strategic opportunities in advance.
Qwoted: What do you do that other PRs could learn from?
Lambert: Many PR firms don’t know how to communicate with journalists. Lengthy press releases often get overlooked because newsroom staff have extremely tight daily deadlines. To get news coverage, you have to speak a reporter’s language, understand their needs and deliver timely ideas. Our team at Media Minefield understands how to communicate with journalists and identify newsworthy opportunities for our clients because many members of our media team are former journalists, myself included.
Qwoted: What’s your toughest challenge with reporters?
Lambert: Today’s journalists are plugged into their audience 24/7 through social media. This becomes extremely challenging in crisis situations. As a PR person, we not only have to think about how a story will be told in a print, a magazine story, or a TV or radio broadcast, but also on a reporter’s social media channels. We have to prepare for any questions, comments or messages our clients receive on any of the platforms where the story could be shared.
Qwoted: How do you break through the noise floor to get effective coverage?
Lambert: It all comes back to understanding the reporter’s needs at a given time. Depending on the news cycle, these needs can change minute by minute. A reporter may be working with us on a feature piece with a flexible deadline and suddenly be thrust into a breaking news situation where they need an expert ASAP. Because we move at the speed of news at Media Minefield, we’re able to shift and leverage our team to respond to these requests. When news breaks, we know what types of stories reporters are looking for and how to position our clients as experts on timely news stories.
Qwoted: How does PR in 2023 square with the future of journalism?
Lambert: I think journalism is continually evolving, therefore it’s hard to say what its future will be. What we do know is PR firms must be nimble, understand the current state of journalism and what outlets need to tell captivating stories. An example of this would be how the web has impacted the need for visuals. More than ever, TV stations and even radio stations and newspapers with robust websites are looking for great visual components to accompany their stories. Another example would be how COVID transformed interviews. We went from doing in-person interviews to having to tell an equally visually captivating story via Skype, Zoom and FaceTime. That’s why a big question we’re always considering is how we can make our client’s story more visual.
Qwoted: What advice would you give to those seeking an effective PR person?
Lambert: Find an organization that will help you identify your key messages and understands how to leverage them in earned, owned and paid media. From social media, thought leadership articles and news interviews, a great PR person will know how to strategically work your message into every opportunity.
Qwoted: What is your golden rule of PR?
Lambert: Listen. PR is about digging into your clients’ unique abilities and finding the hidden stories within their world. Oftentimes, the things our clients think are insignificant turn out to be amazing PR opportunities. That’s why Media Minefield conducts regular strategy calls with clients to unearth not-so-obvious opportunities and discuss how to strategically share it with their audiences. For example, a few years ago, we worked with a client that provides pest control services. During a strategy call, the client casually mentioned that they launched a 4-day workweek. Even though this story wasn’t about pest control, it was an opportunity for the client to be seen as an innovator. We did media outreach on their behalf and secured several great news stories where our client was seen as a thought leader and a great employer.
Qwoted: Anything else to add?
Lambert: Stories are powerful. They are how we make sense of the world around us. They connect us and influence our decisions. As a PR firm, it’s vital to be tuned into your clients’ stories. At Media Minefield, we developed a unique “Storycentric Marketing” approach, which utilizes proactive media coverage, strategic social media, digital advertising and thought leadership to help grow your business and build your brand. We see it as a centerpiece and build earned, paid and owned media campaigns around it. This creates cohesion between all three arms of a client’s PR efforts.
February 14, 2023