Times are changing, and so is media relations. That is why now, more than ever, it is crucial to implement thoughtful media relations strategies into your work.
The media has undergone many significant changes over the years. With the introduction of the internet came 24/7 access to a constant stream of news and information. Then came social media, which simplified the process of sharing stories even more. This has caused publications to make substantial economic cutbacks. Journalists are getting laid off left and right; meanwhile, the public relations industry is booming. Knowing this information, it makes sense that there are six PR professionals for every one journalist. If you think that sounds like a lot of competition, you are correct.
As with any competition, developing a strategy is key. The “spray and pray” approach to media relations by blasting out a press release via a wire is not always the right approach, especially when you’re hoping to stand out in an inbox of hundreds to thousands of unread emails. Here is where implementation of thoughtful media relations comes into play.
First, craft your pitch with the reader in mind. Would you stop to read this article if it was in the newspaper? Would you click the link to this story on your Facebook timeline? Consider what the public is buzzing about currently. Take a look at trending hashtags and consider how your narrative could fit into those topics.
Next, consider your pitch with the mind of a journalist. Is the copy too dense? Does this topic fit with my target audience? Research the journalist’s recent work and attempt to inject their voice into your pitch. If you can find a section or segment of the media outlet that the story would fit, mention it in your email. Also, be thoughtful of the reporter or editor’s time by keeping your copy short and concise. Remember that just like you, they too have deadlines to meet, so don’t nag them with constant phone calls.
We’re all guilty of thinking our press release is the most innovative on the market; however, in reality, the journalist has likely seen several similar ones in the past week. Find a way to make yours stand out from the crowd. Dig for the newsworthy angle and run with it. Thoughtful and strategic media relations tactics will always come out on top.