PINs workshop: Building Effective Media Relations with Andrea Ellison


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On September 28, 2013 TRIEC hosted the PINs workshop on Building Effective Media Relations with Andrea Ellison from Andrea Ellison Communications.

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PINs workshop: Building Effective Media Relations with Andrea Ellison

  1. 1. Andrea Ellison Communications TRIEC’S PROFESSIONAL IMMIGRANT NETWORKS September 28, 2013 “Media Relations Strategy” Workshop
  2. 2. Agenda • Introductions • Presentation • In-class Workshop Exercises • Conclusion and Final Questions 2
  3. 3. Introductions • TRIEC • Andrea Ellison • PINs leaders 3
  4. 4. Professional Immigrants Networks “MEDIA RELATIONS STRATEGY” WORKSHOP
  5. 5. Defining a Media Relations Strategy Media Relations is… • The strategic deployment of engaging the media to tell your organization’s story • The dissemination/communication of your organization’s objective(s) to your audience(s) • The transmission of messages via the media • Working with media to inform the public of your organization's mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner • A three-pronged relationship: the Sender (you/the organization), the Transmitter (media) and the Receiver (your target audience) • ALL OF THE ABOVE
  6. 6. Defining a Media Relations Strategy An important distinction… • Media relations refer to the relationship that a company or organization develops with journalists • Public relations extend that relationship beyond the media to the general public Therefore… • The media is a CONDUIT/VEHICLE to carry your messages and information to your public/audiences Skillful and strategic media relations results in… • Relationships and Recognition – Publicity: Information about an organization, issue, event, or cause that earns space and/or time in media that furthers the interest of an organization or individual without specific payment to that media
  7. 7. Defining a Media Relations Strategy A Media Relations Strategy is… • A plan of action developed and implemented to bring messages to the attention of your audience(s) through the use of appropriate media • Part of an organization’s overall communications plan that includes: – Overarching objectives – Communication strategies to fulfill objectives – Identification of target audiences – Key Messages – Tactics to reach those audiences – Evaluation Metrics
  8. 8. Your Media Objectives Get me in the media… OR Keep me out 8
  9. 9. Media Overview: What is News? • Change – It concerns and interests • New – Significant and interesting, trends • Relevant – Affects a specific audience • Timely – Fresh, new developments, as it happens • Human Interest – Emotional, people value • Entertainment – Counterintuitive, amusing • Controversial – Conflict, challenge 9
  10. 10. Media Realities: Overall • More consolidation & downsizing • Increased workloads • Shorter deadlines • Content on multiple platforms & properties • Fewer in-person interviews & press conferences • Leverage third-party content • Immediate reader/viewer input • Social Web interactions • 24/7 news cycles 10
  11. 11. Media Realities: What Journalists Are Like • They’ve got a job to do – and under pressure to do so • Reporters need help – vast range in skill and background knowledge • They have no time – and sometimes no time for manners • Photographers know no boundaries • The media have an agenda – the media’s power to define what is important – Agenda-setting based on two assumptions: • The media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it • Media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues 11
  12. 12. Why Talk to the Media? 1. Obligation to keep clients, customers and other stakeholders informed 2. Public has a right / need to know about key issues 3. Opportunity to tell your side of the story 4. If you don’t tell your story, someone else will – often uninformed and biased 12
  13. 13. The Four Functions of the Media Encounter 1. Relevance: Get the right people to care 2. Comprehension: Get people to understand 3. Credibility: Get people to believe 4. Urgency: Get people to act 13
  14. 14. Media Relations: Art or Science? The Answer… • Both The Question to Ask Is… • How can we effectively use media relations to achieve desirable results? Therefore… • What do we want to achieve?
  15. 15. Media Relations: An Art Media Relations is an art: It fosters creativity on the part of the PR practitioner who engages in the work process Media Relations means thinking creatively about: • What groups of stakeholders (audiences) do we want to appeal to? • How do we want to appeal to these stakeholders? • What impression we do want these stakeholders to have? • What media should we leverage to reach these stakeholders? • What messages are most appealing to these stakeholders? • What do we want these stakeholders to do?
  16. 16. Media Relations: An Art Media Relations: The art of engagement Engagement works at two levels: • Pro-active – Actively reaching out to media via various tools (e.g. news releases, media pitches, media tours, news conferences, etc.) • Reactive – Responding to incoming questions from media about your organization or an issue related to your organization (e.g. to gauge your reaction to an issue, to offer expert commentary/be a source, etc.)
  17. 17. Media Relations: A Science Media Relations is a science: It involves (requires) planning and measurement Planning Your Media Relations Strategy: • Research and Analysis – Define the problem/opportunity, establish objectives • Action – Develop a plan • Communication – Implement the plan • Evaluation – Monitor the results, evaluate tactics, lessons learned
  18. 18. Your Media Relations Strategy: Art and Science at Work Media Relations: A scientific art or an artistic science? Your Media Relations Strategy: 1. Takes the science of plan development 2. Combines with it the creativity of implementing that plan 3. Goes back to the science of evaluating the results
  19. 19. Building a Media Relations Strategy RESEARCH and ANALYSIS • The basis from which a strategy is developed • Identify the problem or the opportunity • Set objectives – objectives must be results-oriented Objectives should be: • Measurable • Specific • Realistic • Time-bounded • Prioritized
  20. 20. Building a Media Relations Strategy RESEARCH and ANALYSIS continued Tips to prioritize objectives: • Assess current level of awareness • Determine what people know about you/what you are known for • Assess public perceptions (positive, negative, neutral) • Evaluate the opportunities and obstacles in your way Exercise One: What are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? Set one or more measurable objectives. For example: • To create awareness of my organization beyond the ethnic media and with mainstream media • To raise awareness for the importance of donations • To encourage potential future employers to consider the hiring of skilled immigrant talent
  21. 21. Building a Media Relations Strategy TARGET AUDIENCE • Target audiences: any individual or group affecting your organization in pursuit of its mission • For PR planning the audience can be categorized as: – Those who can take action for or against the audience – Those who can influence what the audience thinks and does Examples: • Local government (e.g. city councillors) • Business associations • Existing and potential new members • Media (mainstream traditional, ethnic media, social media)
  22. 22. Building a Media Relations Strategy TARGET AUDIENCE continued Tips to help identify your target audience: Think about all the people and groups you regularly communicate with. Review recent correspondence, event invitations, etc. and ask: • What sort of audience are they? • With whom do you want to communicate with? Why? Exercise Two: List your target public audiences and try classifying these audiences as follows: • Those who can take action for or against the audience • Those who can influence what the audience thinks and does
  23. 23. Building a Media Relations Strategy TARGET AUDIENCE continued • The media is an important “audience” – media are a CONDUIT/VEHICLE to your end-user audience • A media relations strategy must include a well-developed media list • A media list must be maintained – it requires regular updating • Media can be both an influencer and a group that can take action for or against your organization • Types of media to consider: – Print (mainstream newspapers, magazines, ethnic, industry trades) – Radio (mainstream and ethnic) – Television (mainstream and ethnic) – Social (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, news websites, bloggers, etc.) Exercise Three: Develop a media list. Think about the different media and who is appropriate to reach your audiences.
  24. 24. Building a Media Relations Strategy KEY MESSAGES • What you need to tell your audience in order to influence, change, promote their awareness, attitude or behaviour • Messages should answer the question: Why should we care? Messages must be concise, clear, easily understood and for media, quotable – Simple & Substantive – Credible & Provocative – Human & Personal – Facts & Figures – Analogies & Examples – Audiences & Verticals • A variety of secondary messages can be used to support key messages (e.g. proof points from industry stats)
  25. 25. Building a Media Relations Strategy KEY MESSAGES continued TRIEC Example from 2013 IS Awards: • The Greater Toronto Region stands to prosper from fully engaging the contributions of skilled immigrants – Skilled immigrants help Canadian companies do business with the world – Local customer bases are changing as more immigrants settle in the GTA – Skilled immigrants bring high levels of skills and education – 51 per cent of recent immigrants have a university degree compared to 20 per cent of Canadians – Skilled immigrants bring innovative ideas and international expertise Exercise Four: Develop two or three key messages you want to communicate and any supporting statements. Consider what these messages mean to your audience.
  26. 26. Building a Media Relations Strategy TACTICS • Tactics are the communications tools you use to target your audience with your key messages • Numerous tactics in the PR professional’s toolkit, but focus for this workshop is on media relations tools to engage the media Important reminder – the media is a CONDUIT/VEHICLE to your audience. So why are we doing this, why engage the media? 1. Relevance: Get the right people to care 2. Comprehension: Get people to understand 3. Credibility: Get people to believe 4. Urgency: Get people to act
  27. 27. Building a Media Relations Strategy TACTICS continued Be strategic – choose appropriate tactics to effectively engage media • Relationship-building meetings • Media Alert and/or News Release • Press Kit • Need a Source • PSA (Public Service Announcement) • Community Calendar Notice • Media Invitation to an event • Media/Story Pitch • Interview Opportunity • Photo Opportunity • Editorial board meetings • Letters to the editor • Media Tours • Social Media
  28. 28. Building a Media Relations Strategy TACTICS continued Exercise Five: Plan your tools. How do you plan to reach your audiences and target each one? Strategically choose three or four media relations tools and consider how each will work for your organization. Explain why.
  29. 29. Building a Media Relations Strategy EVALUATION • Effective evaluation entails putting systems in place to measure the strategy from the beginning • Barriers to measurement include: – Lack of time, personnel, budget – Lack of knowledge and experience using research techniques and monitoring tools – Concern for proving strategy was ineffective • Why do it? “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” – Allows for readjustments/corrections during a campaign – Identifies what worked and what didn’t (learnings) – Creates a benchmark for future communications – Provides an opportunity to communicate success to your stakeholders (internally and externally)
  30. 30. Building a Media Relations Strategy EVALUATION continued Tips for developing evaluation metrics: • Revisit your objectives – did you achieve what you set out to do? • Look at your target audience – did your messages reach them and if there was a response, was it positive, negative or neutral? • Learnings – what other tools could you have used, what worked? • Evaluation is essential, but “how to” remains a problematic issue within the public relations industry – The Canadian Public Relations Society has developed a widely- accepted industry standard for media measurement: Media Relations Rating Points (MRP). Visit:
  31. 31. Building a Media Relations Strategy EVALUATION continued • Commonly used MRP criteria for assessment of media coverage: – Circulation/Audience Reach – Tone (positive, negative, neutral) – Mention of Organization – Photo/Image/Colour – Spokesperson Quotation and Credibility of Spokesperson – Prominence – Key Message(s) – Exclusivity – Inclusion of Website – Call to Action
  32. 32. Andrea Ellison Communications THANK YOU! QUESTIONS?
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