Media relations is a vital part of any communications strategy if managed effectively. However, the thought of managing media relations can sometimes be daunting. Who do I call? What do I say? How do I know if my pitch is newsworthy?
Having a tailored media relations strategy will help with this and allow you to make worthwhile pitches for every client.
Here are four ways to successfully manage a media relations strategy.
A good media relations strategy will begin to develop from a set of clearly established goals. While goal setting may seem cliché and obvious, it is a highly important first step in order to maximise success.
When setting goals, think about who your client is, who their audience is and exactly what they want to achieve. Set short term goals that will eventually lead to the long-term.
Setting goals will allow you as a PR practitioner to have a clear purpose, which will take the pressure off other aspects of the media relations strategy and ensure everything falls into place.
Journalists are the key contacts of PR practitioners, so it is important that as a professional, you know how they think.
Each day journalists are inundated with pitches and press releases, so they know how to decipher the good and bad ones. Before you contact a journalist, make sure your story is newsworthy and most of all, relevant to the topics they write about.
This will involve doing some research and finding out about each journalist you wish to contact. Read some of their articles, watch their stories, listen to their radio segments and learn what their interests are. This will help you know who to contact, so there is no time wasted for you or the journalist.
Conducting research and only contacting relevant journalists will help improve your credibility, your likelihood of getting your story picked up and it will also help to establish healthy media relations.
Positive relationship building is undoubtedly the most important part of a media relations strategy.
This means taking the time to properly communicate with journalists and other people in the media. This can come in the form of taking the time to personalise emails, offering help with a story even when it doesn’t involve one of your clients and meeting up for a coffee.
As well as this, having positive media relations is especially important during a crisis, when often it can be helpful to contact a journalist you can trust to help you release a story as part of your crisis communications plan.
In order to create a successful media relations strategy for your client, it is important you know their target audience and build a key message around this.
Help your client find their target market by thinking about who would be interested in their business, if there’s a gap or niche they could reach, and which group is going to have the greatest positive impact.
After this, research the behaviours of the target audience and how they consume media. This will help you tailor your media relations strategy and establish a high quality, relevant media list.