lifestyle PR + digital media

Do PR pro's rolodexes even matter anymore? (Yes.)

May 21, 2019

In an age where everyone is a social media expert, and accessible influencers are an increasingly important piece of brands’ marketing strategies’, it begs the question:

Are PR pros’ rolodexes even relevant anymore?

We hate to use the phrase “rolodex”: that term is so out of date it’s practically back in style. (TBH, we kinda long for the analog days of a paper rolodex instead of having to wade through “Jenny outside bar” and “Aaron looks like the guy from Always Sunny” in our phones.) (Note: this writer is marrying “Aaron looks like the guy from Always Sunny” and she’ll never, ever, remove that descriptor from his contact in her phone.)

As PR pros, our answer to that question is a definitive Yes. Sure, some of our contacts are strictly work-related, and face time is limited mostly to client media events. But for so many of the media and influencers in our contacts, we have real friendships with them. We know about their hobbies and their partners’ jobs and their dog’s recent run-in with a Cone of Shame. We have legitimate relationships—and that is increasingly important in this day of Instagram “friendships”.

As the communications world get noisier and noisier, and as newsroom staffs get smaller, it’s important for PR pros to work to build relationships with media. Members of the media are bombarded with many, many emails and calls each day, so it’s useful when our name stands out in their inbox. If we’re legitimately friends, and they know how competent we are at our jobs, they’re more likely to open an email from us.

It’s also symbiotic. It’s quite frequent that a reporter we work with frequently is working on a story and needs relevant sources. Knowing that we may have a client that fits the bill, they reach out to us with the specifics, and we connect them to the right source. We become a trusted resource for the media, one they know they can reach out to in a pinch and get what they need.

In summary:  Yep, PR pros’ relationships and rolodexes—digital or otherwise—matter.

Do you agree? Disagree? Have you had luck cold-emailing media contacts or influencers?