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We all know that the key to growth is to possess a strong passion for learning. This drive is something we continuously cultivate amongst our team, especially newbies our interns - who are here to learn the ropes (eagerly, we hope). In addition to in-house training that Orchan provides the team, we like to encourage team members and interns to go outside of the office for learning opportunities. Engaging in an interactive networking programme, for example, is one of the ways that can help team members grow professionally.

Recently, Orchanites Richard (intern) and Fithri attended PR Newswire’s Media Coffee session – a ‘space’ for communications professionals to discuss ideas and methods to work together more effectively. The session goal – simple - share the best approach(es) for PR practitioners to effectively garner positive coverage.
A Strong Crowd at PR Newswire’s Media Coffee Session
The get-together served as a good opportunity for Richard to engage with like-minded associates from the industry, and to further reinforce his existing understanding of the game. The session had three (3) industry speakers – Ian Yee (The Star), Joshua Cohen (PR Newswire), and Shannon Teoh (The Straits Times - Singapore) to share some important considerations for PR professionals when wooing journalists for a story.
Ian Yee
Ian Yee, Deputy Executive Editor and Producer at The Star R.AGE, highlighted some pull-factors in a story that are crucial in piquing journalists’ interest. Speaking from a producer’s standpoint, he mentioned that it’s hard to go wrong if a story is cause-driven, contains newsworthy hooks, and is presented in a cinematic and episodic manner.
Joshua Cohen presenting his points.
Zooming in on the technicalities of a strong press release, Joshua Cohen, Vice President of Content Licensing & Distribution at PR Newswire, shared his thoughts on the importance of crafting a catchy headline, and structuring the press release in a way that would help boost online visibility. His discussion on incorporating multimedia in a release is spot on, as more and more journalists prefer to be presented with visuals that can better help them decide whether a story is worth running or not.
Shannon Teoh
Shannon Teoh, Malaysia Bureau Chief at The Straits Times (Singapore), highlighted that the key things to bear in mind when pitching stories to journalists are basically: who the journalists are (their background, what sort of stories they write), and what exactly would appeal to them based on their profile. Leveraging on his experience, Shannon lamented on some issues he has faced when it came to dealing with PR practitioners; such as when a practitioner requests from him a specific writer instead of accepting an assigned reporter. His take on that was don’t, as editors are generally not the type of people who like being told what to do.

The opportunity to hear perspectives from different industry players was valuable, especially for Richard, as he embarks on his journey to become a PR professional.

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