January 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Media relations is about building bridges between you and the media through effective storytelling. It’s not about selling or hawking or smoke and mirrors. It’s about showing the media why the story you have to tell will resonate with and impact their readers, viewers or listeners. The secret is to make your story work for the media and for their audience. Before launching a PR campaign, the job is to start thinking in terms of stories, hooks, and angles.
If you choose to hire a public relations firm, which you should if your budget permits, keep in mind that it’s still your job to help create the stories. No PR firm or public relations consultant will know your business the way you do. Yes, they can and should help you brainstorm ideas and angles, but you’re the one who knows your story and your business. Their job is to effectively tell your stories and build the bridge between you and the media. Your job is to help them find and develop the stories. I’ve worked with some clients where six months down the line they tell me about an amazing story that makes for a perfect media pitch. It’s great that I finally learned about it, but things could have moved much more quickly if I had known about it when the campaign started. Remember the job of a media relations firm is to tell your story and get you in front of the media. Your job is to give your PR company the tools, information and the stories to work with.
When looking for a PR firm, search for you that specializes in media relations and media placement. It’s more important whether the firm you choose knows how to pitch and place stories than whether they specialize in a particular field. Yes, you want a firm that knows and understands your field and your story, but more importantly, you want a firm that understands the media. You can always teach them and bring them up to speed about the ins and outs of your field and your company, but you can’t teach them how to pitch or place stories. Find a company that knows how to pitch and then work with them to develop the stories that work for you and your business.
The first thing I generally suggest is to place some stories on online media outlets to help demonstrate the relevance of your story by generating some initial coverage. Also, look for topical news stories that you can connect your story to. If you can tie your story to an issue that is getting coverage, you’ll have a much better shot at interesting editors and producers.
Paid wire services, like PR Wire, Business Wire and PRWeb.com, can be helpful, but you don’t want your PR firm to focus on simply placing press releases on the paid wire services. These generally work if you have a breaking story, or if your story is tied in with some type of celebrity news. If not, the best way to garner media coverage is to have your PR firm contacting the media via emails and phone calls directly. By actively working with your PR firm, you can develop a campaign that interests the media, lands you interviews and builds your brand and your business.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012