By Paige Nordeen, Media Relations Manager, Alternative Strategies
With such tight competition in today’s marketplaces, you need to strategize well in order to achieve maximum media coverage. Simply sending a press release to the local newspaper is unlikely to prove particularly fruitful.
Strategically developing your overall approach is key, and staying up-to-date with tactics and the tools to do so is of utmost importance. From being consistent and concise, to well-informed and honest, it’s your job to deliver exactly what the media need in order for them to do their jobs. PR pros also need to be on top of their creative game when approaching media (a little razzle dazzle never hurts!). How do you take your PR efforts from mediocre to magnificent? Incorporate these five strategies during your next campaign, project or pitch to help maximize results.
1. Research. It takes time to build an effective, finely-tuned media list. Casting wide nets over a sea of reporters will not serve you well in the long run. Be strategic with where you would like coverage. Who is your audience and where do they consume their media? Get to know the reporters you are targeting by reading their recent stories, scoping out twitter accounts and understanding beats.
2. Keep things concise. When it comes to communications, brevity is key. Reporters sift through thousands of emails daily. Your event or story might be the best thing since caramel-covered deep fried ice cream to you, but including paragraphs of minute details will lose your readers. Stick to the most compelling points and let reporters know you are happy to provide more details if needed.
3. Be straightforward and upfront. Attempting to hide or deny unfavorable truths will only draw attention to them. The truth will always come out so it’s a good practice to be honest and upfront. Sometimes doing so will even work in your favor.
4. Know your audience. Consciously craft each pitch or press release for your target audience. A group of financial reporters will read something entirely different than a group of food editors. If you are pitching dining out on a budget, draft alternate angles and use appropriate language in order to appeal to each group.
5. Network. If you have the opportunity to meet members of the media, make the most of it. Connecting on a personal level over lunch or a cup of coffee does more good than many people realize. In a world where we are increasingly hovering in cyberspace, there is great value in meeting face-to-face from time to time. Putting a friendly face to an email address and a personality behind the pitch will win you far more attention than a splashy headline.
Paige Nordeen has a nose for news and a passion for following industry trends, especially when it comes to the restaurant industry. She is a Media Relations Manager with Alternative Strategies, an award-winning, full-service marketing communications firm which represents 40+ restaurants and bars around San Diego.