What is Media Relations?
Media relations is the management of media coverage and relationships on behalf of a person, business, or organization.
Why is Media Relations important?
Media relations is important for several reasons:
- organizations want to share their stories
- they want to be properly represented in the news
- they want to increase their brand value by being an active and visible participant in media
- they want to publicize and promote for the purpose of raising sales, gaining support, and encouraging participation in programs or campaigns
SOS 5 Step Media Relations Process
–adapted from procommunicator.com and startupnation.com
Media Relations for multinational corporations and large businesses can be very complex. Small businesses like your chapter have the advantage of being able to develop more intimate media relationships and better representation.
As an SOS chapter, you can follow 5 easy steps to devlop media relations within your campus and communities.
1. Research media venues
Start by researching media venues that focus on your target audience. There are a lot of publications on each campus. Most schools have at least one student paper and alumni magazine. Find out who writes for them. Record the information in a database or file that is easily accessible. Many media venues have high turnover rates, so you’ll want to keep up-to-date of new reporters and update your notes accordingly. Try to faithfully read each publication, and pay attention to reporter bylines as they come and go.
2. Develop story angles
After you have a list of prime media contacts, the next step in your media relations strategy is to figure out why these reporters will want to write about your efforts. Why will they care about what you have to say?
Create some interesting story angles by relating your services and initiatives to current trends, news, case studies, and recent research. Once you have a few good ideas, create an outline of all the key points you want to share with each media contact. Then, practice what you are going to say. You will want to communicate your thoughts clearly and with great enthusiasm, without having to read from a script. Try to capture each reporter’s attention by speaking intelligently and with authority about your story angle.
3. Make contact- Start now!
Feel free to meet with your campus publications and journalists- they’re students too. Contact the publication directly, explain who you are, and ask for a meeting to discuss how you can make a story work for them.
If you are sending a press release, make it as newsworthy as possible. Another great way to discover how to write a release is to review news from your competitors and other successful companies in your industry.
Remember, reporters receive hundreds of pitches each day so you need to convey your story idea quickly and truthfully. Also, have someone check your press release for errors, tone and newsworthiness prior to announcing it to the public. This will help you convey information that builds credibility and generates interest.
At this point, you can also call or e-mail each media member directly to follow-up and make sure that they’ve received your release. Introduce yourself and ask if he or she would like to continue receiving appropriate news about your organization, and see what else you can provide. Just be sure to keep your conversation brief.
4. Get involved!
If you want potential customers, volunteers, partners and the media to know about your organization, it is also essential to get out and attend local club meetings, events, trade shows, conferences and presentations. Tell people about your organization and services. Volunteer to speak about your area of expertise at local events hosted by the chamber of commerce or other organizations.
Reporters cover important community events so if you are a part of the activities, you significantly increase your chances of receiving an interview and published quote. Many times, media will seek out event speakers for interviews before, during or after the event. It’s a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field and attract attention from potential customers. Plus, just by attending and networking at the event, you can build some valuable business and media relationships.
5. Be persistent
Once you start promoting your business, don’t stop. A sustainable public relations strategy is a long-term endeavor. It can take months to capture the attention of targeted media venues. Plus, it’s important to remind the press about your business on a regular basis so they don’t forget about you.
Are you launching a new product or service? Is there some hot topic in the news that relates to the product you offer? It might be time for another press announcement to remind reporters that you’re still out there.
Provide the news and resources they need to meet their deadlines. Give them your current contact information so they can get in touch with you at any time. And don’t get discouraged. If you’ve done the work, and the time is right, you will get a story.
It is possible to build a sustainable public relations strategy on a shoestring budget. Spend the time necessary researching targeted media venues, creating compelling pitches and participating in appropriate business and community events on a regular basis, and you will be well on your way to drumming up some great media exposure.
Quick Story Development
To develop a story, a strategy, and a way to keep track of the media you can focus on these 3 elements to start.
- Vision, Position or Essential Facts
- Info (details)
- Impact (newsworthiness)
- Immediacy (why now)
- Individuals (human interest, character development)
- Images (Visual appeal and communication)
- Format – Long/short lead, radio, TV, print, online
- Reach – Local, regional, national.
- Section – Community, trade, lifestyle, business, etc.
- Role – Editor, blogger, reporter, columnist, etc.
- Contact Info – phone, email, twitter
- Notes – comments on last contact, interests in stories and follow-ups
Engaging your networks publications
The best places to start for your chapter to build media relationships and get coverage are the campus paper, alumni network paper or campus bloggers. You can also pitch your local city paper, and local magazines.
|20 Tactics to Generate News:|
- Tie in with news events of the day
- Cooperation with another organization or joint project
- Conduct a poll or survey
- Create a top-10 list
- Arrange an interview with a celebrity from your school, chapter, or community
- Arrange for a testimonial
- Arrange for a speech
- Make an analysis or prediction
- Form and announce names for committees
- Celebrate an anniversary
- Issue a summary of facts
- Tie in with a holiday, Tie into a well-known week or day
- Stage a special event- Orientation week, education week, exam week
- Make a trip
- Make an award
- Hold a contest
- Pass a resolution
- Write a letter- to editor, to celebrity, to government, opinion, op-ed
- Adapt national reports and surveys for local news- student stats, int development
- Organize a tour
Check out the Facebook page for Marketing VPs [DISPLAY_ACURAX_ICONS]