How Not to ‘Mess-Up’ in Media Relations

Akshara Gurbani,

Nucleus PR

The good thing about being in the PR Industry is that we are the communicators. Not just simply communicators, but the people who build the image of their clients before the masses. It takes a lot more than just communicating ideas. It involves strategy, planning, and execution all done seamlessly and in sync; everything is a part of the process. PR takes the lead when it comes to reputation building and uses several different strategies, tools, and mediums that are uniquely suited to the industry the brand operates in to create a strong reputation. The media outreach vertical is a strong contributor to it. With the fast changing landscape of the media industry, job switches and changes in messaging this might seem like a mammoth task to keep track of. Here are my top five hacks that will help you keep pace with the changes and be excellent at media relations.

Research before you pitch

‘Think before you speak’ – this saying is absolutely correct but for PR, the apt saying would be – ‘Research before you pitch’. Your words should have weight and for that, you need to research rigorously. Understand your client in and out before you start mapping out media that will be interested in their story. Research the media and get a good grip on their storytelling style, media angles, and interest. Go a step further and identify the journalist who you feel will be best able to do justice to your client’s story. All this can be done just by browsing through the media, using social media mindfully, and observing the media / journalist’s conversations to understand what will work. And this is absolutely free of cost. Once you have this down, jot down a crisp and relevant story to the journalist you have in mind. Ensure that your pitch is tuned into the media medium and its audience.

P.S: A pitch for a Television interview will not work for an online portal. Customise it to the T.

Believe in the power of E-mail

Every formal communication starts with an e-mail, but how to stand out your email amongst others? Psychology tells you that humans tend to ignore clustered and long texts, and take interest in reading short, crisp, and divided text. So it stands to reason, that one of the most basic things you can do is to work on your email. Focus on the subject line, the amount of content, and the formatting you put in the email. The subject line can be click-baity but it has to be relevant to the text inside. Put only as much content as you feel will get their attention, the rest you can add in a downloadable format or attachment. Format it with not more than two fonts and highlight only relevant essential parts.

P.S: Don’t clog a journalist’s inbox with heavy attachments. You will get blocked or thrown into spam.

Confidence is the Master Key

It is very important to be confident and well-prepared before you speak to the media. Because in this fast-moving world, everyone has jam-packed work hours, and no one will give you much time, especially the journalists. You can consider pitching as a game, where you are given chance to slay in the time period of thirty seconds, and that’s when your confidence will act like the master key to help you win. Rehearse this as many times as you can with multiple people in your team so you can weed out all the maybe answers and prepare for them with confidence.

P.S: Perfect your elevator pitch to garner the attention of the journalist in the first 10 secs.

Engage with the media

Public relation being a field of communication teaches you the art of connecting with people. But, connecting and engaging are two different things. To build a strong relationship with the media, you need to know the art of pulling the right card at the right time. LinkedIn and Twitter are two powerful and professional social media platforms where you can leave your impression and build long lasting relationships with the media on a professional level.

P.S: Don’t stalk them on every post. Leave meaningful comments that are relevant to the industry / client you are servicing. 

Keep the conversation alive

After you have been successful in generating one story with a strong pitch via one journalist, don’t ghost on them. Every successful pitch is a stepping stone toward successful media relations. It has given you a golden opportunity to earn respect and start an association with continued conversation. Help where you can, share what you can, and pitch your client for relevant stories only.  

P.S: Every conversation is not a pitch. It is not necessary for you to pitch your client for every story.    

About Nucleus PR

The 13-year old firm has clients across multiple verticals. With an already established presence in 4 major metros, they have successfully created a strong affiliate network across 88 towns across the country via a team of trusted professional experts. With its inclusion in the exclusive and prestigious worldwide collaborative network of PR firms – PRBI Boutiques International, it adds brilliant minds from over 40 agencies across 14 countries to their resource pool. As the first members from the Asian sub-continent, they represent the entire region in the prestigious international PR network. Their current portfolio includes entertainment, lifestyle, media, hospitality and corporate clients across MNCs, SMEs, and Startups.

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