Business Success in Media Relations


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Business Success in Media Relations

  1. 1. BusinessSuccess inMediaRelations
  2. 2. Success in Media Relations As a public we have access to more information now than we know what to do with. Getting information out in to the public has never been easier. Getting it out where it will be seen, understood and engaged with is something else altogether. This is where having strong media relations can be hugely beneficial. Keeping the media onside and in line with your brands communications will give you far greater opportunities for strong media placements – boosting brand visibility and public engagement.
  3. 3. Reach the Right People Make sure you don’t waste time and effort reaching out to the wrong people. You could have a brilliant and newsworthy story but if it is wholly unrelated to that outlet’s medium then they won’t use it. Sending generic mass emails and messages out to “the media” is a sure fire way to upset any journalist. Assess which publications and media outlets are best suited to your type of organisation and target them directly. Review previous publications on similar organisations or within your industry and establish the key players within that organisation. Who sources the contacts, who reads the articles and who edits them? Reach out to these people directly and target stories and ideas to people you know will be more inclined to publish it.
  4. 4. Understand How They Operate Get to know the relevant reporters and understand how they operate. Each outlet and each journalist works slightly differently, utilising different means of communication and way of working. Some people are happy being contacted through their mobile phone – others are definitely not. Understanding how the media outlets operate will ensure you avoid any embarrassing or damaging mistakes. Draw up a list of media contacts, with fully up to date contact information and make a note of how and when best to contact them.
  5. 5. Establish a Clear Message Sending out press releases verbatim is unlikely to entice the media in to following up on your story. In time pressure situations you often have a very narrow window of opportunity to pitch your story. Draw up a synopsis of your release for pitch purposes. Ensure you cover all the facts and outline the message you wish to convey, outlining clearly how and why it is a compelling and newsworthy piece.
  6. 6. Develop Personal Contacts At all times and whenever possible, communicate with journalists personally. Try and establish clear and lasting relationships by remaining front of mind. Always refer to who you are, what you do and how you know each other. Over time journalists will see you as a regular contact, making it easier for you to pitch future stories.
  7. 7. Be Available To Help When contacting anyone in the media always offer your help in any way. They may be seeking opinion or thoughts on an issue and speaking to you will save valuable time. As well as remaining front of mind for future stories, any goodwill shown towards the media will help to develop a positive reputation for yourself and your organisation.
  8. 8. Make Sure You Can DeliverWhat You Say As tempting as it may be to go along with everything suggested by the journalist to ensure a positive. Do everything you can to always meet deadlines and provide all the relevant and useful information but do not guarantee something which cannot be achieved.
  9. 9. Always Follow Up Keep up to date with the progress of all potential media placements and follow up on leads with further communication. Offer to provide additional information or enhancements like videos or photos. Not only will this boost your chances of a compelling news article but you will remain at the forefront of the media’s thoughts for future publications.
  10. 10. Pitch Offline Wherever possible contact journalists and pitch stories in an offline setting. Phone conversations are far better than email in conveying meaning and tone whilst face to face meetings are better still. They allow you to establish necessary contacts and relationships quicker and also by using a live setting you have a better chance of success in conveying the nuances of your story.
  11. 11. Ensure Your Message isAccurate and Newsworthy Above all else make sure your story is newsworthy. I cannot stress this enough. After committing time and effort in to reaching contacts and creating media opportunities, make sure what you ultimately present is of high enough quality and relevance to pique a journalists interest. Stories which are poorly written, incorrect or misleading will not be considered. Similarly make sure your story is of interest to a wide enough audience. An interesting and compelling story it may be but if no-one outside your office cares than it is of no use to the wider media.