Whether you aspire to get more ink in trade media or your CEO on TV, crafting compelling stories that will resonate with reporters, editors, producers, readers and viewers is key to success. How can you improve your media relations program to get better quality coverage from the right media? Start by following these five surefire tips.
Don’t follow the competition
Watching your biggest competitor(s) consistently score feature stories can be frustrating. Perhaps you’ve thought, “We do more work in that industry than they do. They should be talking to us.” While you may have a similar story to tell, following-up with an overly similar story angle will likely yield limited returns. Rather than following the competition, focus on how you can set your organization apart from the competition and establish or enhance positioning as an industry leader.
Part of setting your company apart from the competition is embracing creativity. Does your company have a unique policy about pets in the workplace? Does your corporate social responsibility (CSR) program make a meaningful impact on employees and the community? Are you defying a national trend or flipping an industry convention on its ahead to amplify your success? Great public relations programs embrace strategy and creativity to secure meaningful coverage in the right publications to reach the right audiences. So, what creative twist can you put on your company’s news?
Be a resource
Building strong relationships with media is an important part of the PR process. You want editors, reports and producers to perceive you as a trusted source of information. And, most importantly, you want them to know that they can rely on you to provide expert commentary or critical information when deadlines are tight and relevant news breaks.
Proactively alerting media to on-staff expertise and available spokespersons is an important part of the equation. As is connecting them with other experts in your network when they are looking for expertise that your own team can’t provide.
Space is limited. Breaking news happens. While you may be hosting an amazing event with amazing speakers, giving reporters short notice can limit your chances of success. If your guest speaker would make a great guest for a TV morning show, pitch the producers well in advance to try and secure an in-studio interview the day of the event. If your ideal trade publication has a special editorial focus slated a few months from now, reach out in advance to offer a contributed article or experts for interview. Maintaining an up-to-date PR plan and timeline can help to increase media coverage while ensuring ready-made opportunities aren’t overlooked.
Be a newshound
Social media has played a leading role in shortening the news cycle and made monitoring news on an ongoing basis increasingly important. Whether you follow your target media and key contacts on Twitter, setup Google Alerts for key topics, watch key news programs on an ongoing basis or a combination of the three, remaining well informed about “what’s news now” can help to hone pitch angles and timing. You don’t want to be pitching an evergreen story when media are scrambling to cover breaking news and you also don’t want to be offering up a story that they already covered.
A well-executed public relations program can enhance expert positioning, generate content for social sharing, reach new audiences, support talent recruitment and assist with lead generation. Whether you are a small business or a Fortune 500 company, identifying how an ongoing media relations program can support your marketing and business goals is an important step towards differentiating your organization from its competition.