The ABC of good media relations

Last month we emphasised the importance that the press release still holds as a tool to help you tell your story. An organisation’s relationship with the media is important and should never be underestimated. Media visibility, with the support of a professional PR agency, will help boost your profile. If there are any potentially damaging issues that arise associated with your industry or business, having a good, existing relationship with the media will help you shape the narrative.

The ABC of good media relationsA one-off press release won’t have much impact. Your potential customers need to read or hear about your organisation many times, and through a variety of communications channels to really start becoming aware of it. Also, if a journalist is writing a story about your industry and does not have your organisation top of mind, they are unlikely to call and ask for information or include a reference to you in the story.

With the above advice in mind, our ABC of good media relations are:

Acquaint yourself with media outlets

Read, listen to or watch your targeted media outlets to really understand the sort of content they cover and the type of stories they are interested in.

Benchmark the strength of your news

Before planning your announcement ask yourself if there is something new, helpful or surprising about your announcement. Your PR manager will be able to advise if they think the news will be of interest to people outside of your business.  Write concise content, that won’t need much editing, with a clear headline, and give key facts in a clear, jargon-free way. Contacting journalists with an un-newsworthy, or badly written story will be a waste of your time and theirs.

Cut-off points

Deliver what you’ve said you will within the agreed timeframe. Journalists need to publish their material by a specific date and missing the deadline may mean you miss the boat, particularly if you are responding to breaking news. If for some unavoidable reason you do need a bit of flexibility over a deadline on the odd occasion, there may be a little leeway, but your relationship with the journalist will matter more than ever.

You can find more advice about building successful relationships with the media here: http://www.cbipr.com/services/media-relations/