Media Relations is the building of effective relationships with journalists, editors and reporters. The media can be Traditional Media i.e. newspapers, magazines, television and radio or New Media including the various Social Media tools, websites, emails or blogs. The aim is to communicate the message of the client through a specific media audience in order to reach and persuade the target audience to take action.
Building a mutually beneficial relationship with the reporters, journalist and bloggers provides complete access to your target audience and helps you get your message across. Developing strong Media Relations helps to inform, educate and make the masses aware of your organization’s mission, policies and practices in a consistent and credible manner.
People are more likely to listen to the media as they will be the third person talking about your company or organization. They are the people who are directly connected to the masses which makes what they speak more credible than you blowing your own trumpet!
How to build effective Media Relations?
Make a priority list
On the basis of your company, work out what audiences you wish to make aware, educate and influence and identify the media outlet you wish to use to reach out to the masses. Make a list. Is it the general public, teenagers, the working community, the business people or the senior citizens you wish to reach out to? Prioritize the list on the basis of your preferences and customize the message to them for highest engagement. Reach out to the specific target audiences through the most preferred media outlet instead of aiming at the general people of all age group and catching no attention at all.
Research about the media and their area of interests
Some magazines cater to a specific class of audiences while other target all age groups. Research about the audiences they reach out to, to get your message across effectively. Customize your approach to the target audience for highest action.
Learn about their timings
A story followed by a reporter in June may get on the shelves by August. Magazines may be two or three issues ahead. Work accordingly and sign an agreement with the journalist after doing a complete research about their way of working and their timings.
To build effective mutually beneficial relations with the media, be the real you. Editors like to talk to real people. Be polite, kind and friendly.
Don’t waste their time
To make a person feel respected and to value their time is the best way to build effective relations with the media. For them, time is money and they are paid accordingly. So, make sure they are respected and their time is valued.
Follow up, but don’t annoy
Keep sending in suggestions and stay in touch through email. They may revert or get back to you. However, don’t annoy them through frequent calls or repeated emails.
Find out about their stories
Look into the stories they are working on; they may talk about stories that don’t get written for a couple of months. Find out about the genre of their interest and specify your preferences. This will increase the chances of them agreeing to take in your story/article. A large amount of time and effort for them to gather information for a story is saved and you will get complete media coverage and be able to get your message across to the preferred target audiences. This will increase the probability of engagement, clicks and awareness. Brand awareness will be taken complete care of.
Understand that journalists are doing a favour
Make a journalist feel valued and respected and understand their deadlines. If they feel that they are disrespected, insulted, kept waiting or taken advantage of they’ll find another scoop to pitch their story.
When a journalist turns to the internet for their research work, garnering information about their article in no time will increase the probability for your company to be a part of their story. If they find a compelling story through your website, they will work on it. Make a PR friendly website with contacts, mails and information which is easily accessible. Provide all the information required by linking different pages to the home page so that work of the journalist decreases and chances of your company to get media coverage increases.
Be media- friendly
Learn to deal with press enquiries, be polite to journalist and value their time. Teach the receptionists, house staff, etc how to answer the phone, who to put the call to and make them understand that calls are important.
Stay in contact
Stay in contact with journalists who work on the stories so that they can help you in achieving the media coverage and put your message out to the public.
Keep these points in mind in order to build effective media relations! If you need further assistance with maintaining good Media Relations, make sure to contact Turiya Communications LLP or visit website www.turiyacommunications.com to know more!