|Clients and PR firms need to work together to create a brand!|
Build relationships with media months in advance of pitching your big story:
- Map out and connect with the key journalist’s from the desired target media at least six months in advance of pitching your big story.
- Introduce yourself to the media at a large gathering or at renowned events: Just be helpful by providing the information which the media asks for. Don’t try to sell them the idea on the spot.
- Compliment a reporter via Social media platforms or e-mail on a story he or she did for their publication. Twitter is a great way to do this.
If a journalist accepts your request on a social media platform use it to showcase your expertise. Please do not start tagging them on your child’s birthday party pictures!
- Invite selected reports out for a coffee for an informal chat and ask them a lot of questions about themselves. Get to know them. Their personal and professional likes and dislikes…this will help you understand what works with them and the media houses they work with.
- Make it a point to attend a couple of industry and media events in a quarter. Join in as a panelist, speaker or simply as an encouraging member of the audience. The probability of you meeting a cross section of media on various beats is very high at each event. Plus you are not selling your business. Meet them like you would any new person.
- Network with your industry peers. Yes. It is important to do that. It not only showcases an important and industry supportive behavior but also positions you as a thought leader when your peers start quoting you to the media.
- Keep your PR team in the loop. There are a lot of dots a PR professional can connect if you give them a low down on all the people you met and interacted with at each event.
- Share your experience. Your personal blog is a great place for you to do that. Once you start sharing networking experiences it encourages other event platforms to invite you and enter the loop.
Make the pitch transition smooth once you have met the journalist in person:
- Offer journalist’s angles for relevant stories on the industry. Strategize with your PR team in advance so that you have a couple of story angles ready and in hand when you meet the media.
- Share your experience with your PR team. A lot of times good rapport between a company spokesperson and a journalist is the tipping point towards grabbing that big spot.
- Offer to connect reporters to experts you know. If the reporter sounds interested, follow through with the offer.
- To be a regular spot on the news be a source for stories that fall within your expertise by letting reporters in your industry know you’re available when they need a source. Your PR team can do this very efficiently for you once you keep them in the loop of who you have promised an all access pass to your time. All you need to do is be available in the moment. When you are there with them. Be with them. Give them your full attention.
What kind of information attracts media attention?
- Industry firsts – A New product in a new vertical that is unique
If your company is established enough with a turnover that has already attracted media attention then a new vertical / launch will also attract media attention
- Path breaking attention on social media platforms
- Investment and expansion announcements
- Research insights and reports
PR professionals can guide the clients and the brands on what communication approach one should take to gain more coverage and maximize it to the fullest. However, that is only half the story. The client’s communication team and especially the spokesperson also needs to meet them halfway or more. Only together can you ensure that your brand becomes a media favourite. The publicity is there for the taking. All you have to do is take action of your communication with the media.
Ishita Shah | Nucleus PR