Top 10 Tips for Heightening Your Visibility through Media Relations
Christine Esposito, President, Terracom Public Relations
- Set your publicity goal.
What you want your publicity to achieve will shape how you package your information and help you decide which media and reporters to pursue.
- Identify your key audiences.
Which audiences do you need to target, and which media outlets reach them? The more you can define who you want to reach, the more effective your publicity pursuits will be.
- Study the media you've targeted.
Which media outlets and reporters cover your topics. How do they cover them?
- Practice thinking like a media person.
Don't think about how the media should cover something. Instead, think about what might interest them. Reporters and editors are generally more interested in people stories than stories about organizations.
- Always remember: People in the media have no time.
Grab their attention quickly. When calling a reporter or editor, ask if he or she has a minute. If not, ask when would be a better time to call back. If so, give your information in a nutshell - aim for 30 seconds.
- Be concise.
Use the Five W's: Who, what where, when and why. Boil your message down to the most important and interesting information.
- Target, target, target.
Tailor your pitch to a particular reporter, media outlet or beat. Blanket press releases are usually not the best choice.
- Build relationships.
Build relationships with reporters as you would any other business colleague. Be honest and authentic. Respond quickly to requests for information and be available, especially when a reporter's on deadline.
- Listen, listen, listen.
Whether pitching a story or following up on a press release, listen closely. Even if a reporter isn't interested initially, you might learn how you can re-orient your pitch and still place the story, or better target your next pitch.
- Engage in an ongoing PR effort.
An ongoing effort helps ensure that warm media contacts don’t turn cold, pending stories have a chance to come to fruition, and target audiences continue to see your organization’s name and message.
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