In the digital age, a relationship with the media is crucial to getting your business out in the public eye. The process of building this relationship is the core of media relations. Not only does this build a valuable connection with people who can improve your reputation in the community, it’s a way to get some free marketing.
As your business is talked about in the media in a positive way, the audience, your customer base, is paying attention. The more positive press, the better your reputation, and consequently, the more times you get in front of potential customers. As those points of contact add up, your customer will be more likely to come in and make a purchase.
- The best way to get in touch with journalists is to go where they are, like social media or Quora.
- Having a strong portfolio of online content will eventually make you an authority in your industry.
- Being aware of industry trends and the most popular topics within your industry is crucial. That’s how you’ll decide what content to produce and which journalists to contact.
- Instead of trying to target the big-name publications, start locally with local TV stations and publications. They will welcome your story and improve your public relations with your local customers.
- If all else fails, get creative. Utilizing PR stunts and influencers can be a great way to have a quick improvement to your media relations.
To better manage your media relations, try these five crucial steps to improving media relations for your business.
Go Where They Are
To get in contact with the journalists and media personnel that you need for your media relations, you need to go where they are. The first place you should turn is social media. Platforms like Twitter are a deep pool of journalists and it’s often how they find their sources.
You should also develop a habit of reading and commenting on their articles and publications. Journalists often browse the comments on their articles to find sources for their other projects. As you create more a presence online, you’ll be more likely to get noticed and approached to be a source.
Sometimes you need to take a more direct approach and contact the journalists correctly. Sending something in the mail, like another publication that talks about your business, is a great option. Even better is sending a personalized email. Introduce yourself and explain how you could partner with the journalist on a project.
Another resource to take advantage of is Help A Reporter Out, or HARO. Twice a day, HARO sends out an email with a list of journalists seeking sources and quotes on different topics. If you meet their qualifications, you can easily interject yourself in a publication without too much work.
Write, Write, Write!
There’s no denying that digital content plays a big role in your media relations. Things like guest articles and guest blogs can drive traffic to your business. It could also give a journalist a way to see how qualified you are to talk on a subject.
Another way to use your online content as a way of connecting with journalists is to answer questions on Quora. Many journalists have started using Quora as a place to find sources or find ideas for projects. If there’s a particular journalist you’d like to work with, you can search for their Quora questions and answer them directly.
Journalists are also constantly looking for assets where data is already collected and compiled for them. By creating these assets, especially if they correct or refute a popular hypothesis, you will provide a valuable resource to journalists. Once you have the data compiled, send it out to journalists.
Choose Your Topics Wisely
Knowing what topics will be most likely to get you noticed is critical in media relations. Knowing things like industry trends off the top of your head is essential. Regularly peruse industry publications and be aware of any news related to your industry. Journalists always want to talk about industry trends, especially when there’s a shift in the economy or the government.
You should also maintain an awareness of what industry topics are frequently being written about. Using SEO, you can find the most popular niche industry topics. As you learn about these and become an authority on them, you’ll be able to talk to journalists as a quality, primary source, something they are always looking for.
Know Who To Target
There are many media personnel out there. So, who do you target? Casting a wide net could mean doing a ton of work without much return. Instead, start local. Targeting local TV stations and publications is a great way to grab the low-hanging fruit. You can find your local media stations and publications using the USNPL website.
For industry publications, there are a couple of tricks you can try. Reverse image searching an infographic you like will show you which publications shared it. These will be those that are most likely to share your content if it aligns with their brand. You can also turn to Crunchbase, a database of thousands of companies, the founders of companies, where they get their funding, and their recent press. Try looking up your competitor. That will give you a good idea of where to turn for media exposure.
And don’t forget about small, yet influential publications. The journalists for the big-name publications will often turn to smaller publications that are reputable when they are finding sources and information for a project. These smaller publications will welcome your expertise, especially if they are industry specific.
If nothing else, you can get creative. Start with a PR stunt. The trick with these is to not do them so often that they become gimmicky. You should also stay true to your brand and authentic in your goal for the stunt. Invite local media personnel and make it fun.
If you do decide to directly pitch a journalist, make sure you personalize it. Rather than sending out a mass email, make each pitch personal so that you can show exactly how your influence could fit with their publication’s brand and mission.
If you have a product, try launching it on Kickstarter. Journalists keep an eye on this popular crowd-funding resource, especially looking for innovative products and companies. And if that doesn’t work, try getting an influencer connected to your brand. Aim for the lower-tier influencers. It will save you money and they’ll be more likely to partner with you.
As you improve your media relations, you’ll see your revenue increase, your brand awareness grow, and your customer base expand.