Leveraging media relations | Media For Startups | Prof. Bringi Dev | Jul 05 @ IIMB Audi


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Having made the bold move of launching a start-up business, it is likely that you are faced with the challenge of spreading the word about your products or services to potential customers. Most start-ups look enviously at the big brands, wishing they could emulate their marketing activities. Of course, they are never able to do so due to an acute lack of funds to invest in marketing, especially in the early stages.

The goal of media relations is to get positive coverage in the mass media without paying for it directly as by advertising. Media relations involves working with media for the purpose of informing your potential customers about how your offering will benefit them, and doing so in a credible positive and consistent manner. Typically, this means coordinating directly with the people who influence, generate and distribute news and features in the mass media.

One of the most cost-effective ways to build buzz around your start-up is to get it covered by the media, either local or national. But how does one go about doing that on a shoe-string budget?

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Leveraging media relations | Media For Startups | Prof. Bringi Dev | Jul 05 @ IIMB Audi

  1. 1. Media Leveraging Media Relations N Bringi Dev July 05, 2014
  2. 2. What? Why? When? (w)How? Who?
  3. 3. Why?
  4. 4. What can Media Publicity Do for You? Build awareness Potential Employees Investors and Banks Possible Partners The public at large Build Brand and Value Generate Business?
  5. 5. Media Relations & Public Relations Advertising, Promotions, Sales
  6. 6. Caveat: There are No Free Lunches! While media relations appears to be ‘free’, there are costs involved: Financial costs Collateral Outside resources.. Non-financial Time! Work! Consistent Focus!
  7. 7. When?
  8. 8. An Absolute Must Read
  9. 9. When?
  10. 10. When? Networking + WoM Push Pull Push + Pull Advertising + MRMR Advertising + MR + PR Note: My adaptation
  11. 11. Public relations vs. media relations How is it different from Advertising? Advertorial vs. Editorial
  12. 12. Types of Public Relations Offline Online Social Source: Alok Kejriwal
  13. 13. Does Offline PR Still Matter? There is a market of decision makers (CEOs of Companies, Heads of Departments, Senior Govt. Officials, etc) who only read print. The online websites of large publications have large audiences and once you are written up in print, you automatically get featured online too. Think of it as ‘proof of concept’ test. The day you can make it in the Fortune or Time or The Economist, you have done something worthwhile. Source: Alok Kejriwal
  14. 14. How are we doing thus far?
  15. 15. What?
  16. 16. The Media Milieu • Time • Channels compete • E-relationships • Low attention span • Technology massively propagates pictures, videos and ephemera
  17. 17. News is a Product
  18. 18. What media wants Conflict of Interest? What ‘sources’ want
  19. 19. Messaging Model Messages Target Audience
  20. 20. Messaging Model - Now Messages Influencer/ Opinion Leader Target Audience
  21. 21. Opinion Leaders Have credibility with readers that media wishes to leverage Political figures Celebrities Community/ religious leaders Teachers Media analysts Industrialists/ Investors
  23. 23. Behind the Scenes
  24. 24. Who Decides? Editors commission stories/columns Journalists/writers file The Editors decide Sub-Editors hack the story Priorities change all the time
  25. 25. Journalist Roles 27 journalist has a personal role personal approach is allowed for the journalist journalist must be objective newsroom work only commentary, note, columns, opinion news, news feature story reporting interview
  26. 26. Traditional Interaction Model Spokesperson PR Agency Readers Wire/News Services Spokesperson Spokesperson In-house MarComm Journalists Editors Analysts Web Sites Other Stakeholders Editors Investors Readers
  27. 27. Lower Hanging Fruit Bloggers Niche/Trade/Industry publications
  28. 28. Start-Up Publications
  29. 29. (w)How?
  30. 30. Fundamentals Know thy TA! Whom are you talking to? How do I reach them? What do they read? Know thy messages!! Find the right publications to reach your TAs
  31. 31. Getting Past the Gatekeeper
  32. 32. Connecting Who are the journalists that write in your area? What kind of stories do they write? Comment on their stories online – responsibly yet provocatively Write to them, but not spam them Find out who their commissioning editor is Give them reasons to want to know you
  33. 33. Network, network, network Conferences & forums (sic): Speak! Attend entrepreneurship group meetings Be active part of the eco-system
  34. 34. Connecting Online Develop serious blogs Be the expert Have a trenchant point of view Comment on relevant issues Develop an individual Brand personality
  35. 35. Be Prepared Develop a pitch for the media Focus on highlighting the aspects of your offering that they think will be useful to their readers Have a media page on your site Your pitch is a ‘living document’ Develop a media kit: online + offline
  36. 36. Any Questions?
  37. 37. Who?
  38. 38. Make vs. Buy?
  39. 39. You are the Business! “The vast majority of the time, the founders are the voice and heart of the company.” - Brooke Hammerling, Brew Media Relations
  40. 40. DIY MR Is there a media-savvy person in your founding team? Why Not? No Idea? Get Idea Can you find a media relations person cheap? One-person outfits exist - call themselves consultants – select one who comes recommended by someone you trust The Moonlighter Option
  41. 41. Send Out News! Blog! Web site Media Section E-newsletter Create & post media releases for free
  42. 42. To Agency or Not to Agency? Only three reasons an early-stage company should consider retaining the services of a firm: 1. It’s entering a crowded market. 2. It’s a very disruptive company that needs to get out there ahead fast. 3. There’s a legacy CEO involved who has history with the press. - Brooke Hammerling, Brew Media Relations
  43. 43. A Few Bright Ideas MR Now – Pay Later Find a PR agency that will provide consulting now for a slice of the business or later Work on a pay for results basis Fledging agencies may be willing to work for costs Get your investors to help you connect They have a vested interest Most times we do not ask them..
  44. 44. Stay the Course Like all relationships, building media relations takes time Be prepared for the long haul –it is worth it! Most importantly – the leadership team needs to invest time and effort to make it work.
  45. 45. Last chance! Any Questions?