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5 Tips for Better Media Relations

Media relations remains one of the most important, and yet misunderstood disciplines in public relations and marketing.

5 Tips for Better Media Relations

Media relations remains one of the most important, and yet misunderstood disciplines in public relations and marketing.

The value of a strategic media relations program truly can’t be underestimated in helping build and shape a company’s brand or image.

Yet how to achieve this kind of impactful results is still up to debate as media relations is hardly an exact science, especially in this ever-changing digital age and media landscape. Everyone in the PR industry, and in the business world overall, it seems has their own opinions, strategies, approaches, and ideas of how to secure lasting and meaningful media coverage.

As I have learned from my more than 20 years in the public relations and journalism fields, a little finesse, strategic and common sense, and a keen ability to recognize a great story can go a long way toward achieving media relations success.

Here are my five tips for better media relations:

1. TELL A COMPELLING STORY

Always strive to tell an interesting story when pitching the media regardless of the subject. Dig deeper into your client’s background and highlight the unique aspects of their business or products to bolster your media pitch. Also, employ newsworthy trends, relevant statistics to make your pitch more relevant. Boring pitches, with mundane subject lines, tepid writing and no newsworthy angles or stats typically end up in a media person’s trash file or are never opened at all. Busting through that email clutter is crucial.

2. THINK LIKE THE MEDIA

I can’t stress this enough. Write and think like the media as much as possible. Imagine stepping into your media contact’s shoes when pitching. Remember they are looking for interesting stories to share with their audience. You must build a bridge between your client’s news to the kind of newsworthy story angle that will appeal to your media contacts. It’s about your media contact’s needs as much as your client’s. Be persistent, but avoid being pushy at all costs. If you do your homework before pitching, you won’t have force a weak story suggestion as your contacts will be more receptive from the outset.

3. KNOW INDUSTRY TRENDS

Stay on top of the news in your client’s industry. This can provide current, and ongoing relevant news angles to ensure your pitch is newsworthy, particularly when pitching media that cover a certain industry. They will come to see you as a knowledgeable and valuable resource for future stories.

4. BE POLITE

This one should go without staying. Always be polite to members of the media (even when or if they are not so polite to you). Take rejection graciously. However, remember a “No” now can sometimes turn into a “Yes” later. Additionally, always work diligently to address the media’s needs in a timely manner. Your media contacts will more often than not remember PR people who are easy to work with and are responsive to their needs. Also, make sure you are aware of their deadline (when calling) and don’t pitch them off topic.  For instance, if they cover travel, don’t try to pitch them a tech story unless it relates to their specific beat, etc.

5. GO BEYOND YOUR MEDIA LIST

Meltwater or other media list research platforms are only a starting point for an effective media outreach campaign.  You must go beyond your initial media list with further research of the media person’s recent stories, work, and background.  With the media sometimes frequently changing jobs and positions, this extra step is essential to not only find the right contact but to also get a better grasp of how their editorial beat and work relates to your client’s story and industry.

And never forget that pitching the media should be intriguing… and dare I even say it’s – FUN.

The highlights of my PR career still remain the rewarding satisfaction I receive from securing significant media coverage that has changed the perception and awareness of my client’s businesses forever.

So… if you want Ludicrous results for your public relations and media relations campaigns, please get in touch with us at Ludicrous Agency.

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George Pappas

George is a leading PR executive with over 25 years of experience with extensive media contacts.

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