Phoenix PR Firm Offers Best Practices In Media Relations
Edward Bernays helped pioneer the practice of public relations as a marketing tactic back in the 1920s. Since then, the practice has evolved as both an art and a science, while helping build the most successful brands in the world.
News organizations were once considered the fourth estate of a democracy. Companies that earned media coverage were once considered to be the pillars of society. They were leaders, the voice of reason and their products and services were often considered to be the solution of choice among consumers. Earning media coverage was once the holy grail of brand management and marketing. It helped brand companies as leaders, while positioning their products and services as the solutions of choice.
At the other end of the spectrum, some companies find themselves in the crosshairs of investigative reporters. Negative news coverage has put some companies out of business and it helped expose corruption and collusion in government. The media spotlight has always been a double-edged sword that could influence the fate of any organization. In today’s world of social media and fake news, the influence of mainstream news organizations has been diminished, but not much. Most people still find mainstream news and word-of-mouth to be more believable than advertising and social media.
If you aren’t generating your share of news, here are some steps that can help you harness the power of the media.
Remember, not all news is positive and not all news is strategic. Putting the news to work for you requires vision, planning and transparency. You must be creative, responsive and opportunistic. You must be able to withstand media scrutiny. You must have a story that matters to a reporter’s audience. You must offer a perspective that offers valuable insight and you must make it easy for each reporter to work with you.
If you can successfully navigate the media maze, you can generate coverage that can help separate your organization from the competition.
It can help position your company as the industry leader. It can help you build strategic relationships, while building awareness and understanding within key market segments. Mainstream media coverage can fuel social media, emails to stakeholders and SEO for your website. It also can trigger tough questions, so be prepared. The following checklist will help you evaluate your company’s media opportunity. It will also help you generate strategic media coverage that can help build your brand and your bottom line:
Media Training: Who are they key spokespeople? Have they been through media training to help them control any media interview?
Media List: Which news outlets reach your stakeholders? Who has covered your company/industry in the past? Are these reporters still in place? Follow key news organizations and reporters on Twitter to help build these relationships.
Experts List: Build a contact list of experts within your company/industry that you can send to reporters as a general news resource.
Pitch List: Build an inventory of story angles and a pitch calendar that prioritizes what stories to pitch where and when. Identify events, records, milestones, anniversaries, partnerships, research, trends, problems and solutions, local connections, innovation, awards given and received, community resources, etc.)
Media Kit: Have key facts, statistics, photos, videos, key contacts, white papers and other resources that can make a reporter’s job easier to get the story accurate and complete.
The Pitch: Determine whether a media release, phone pitch or press conference will best serve the situation. Know each reporter’s deadline and meet every request as possible.
News Alerts: Be sure to set up a tracking service or a Google alert to track any news that you should know about. In some cases, there might be an opportunity to respond to a story to add perspective or make a correction. A letter to the editor is typically posted under most online stories.
When you generate strategic media coverage, encourage leadership to post and share on social media. Encourage leaders to send these clips to key stakeholders via email and social media. Be sure to send these clips out to employees to build morale and teamwork. Make sure that good news travels fast.