At the core of many PR campaigns is a strong media relations strategy. Knowing what to say is important but how to say it in order to reach those you’re trying to is even more important. Here at Rally Point, The Persuasion Equation is at the heart of our public relations approach. In our last blog post we went through the first step, the planning process, and below we’ll take you through the process of building out a media relations strategy in four essential steps.
Educating through research
It is critical to educate yourself about an industry through research. It’s crucial to identify and understand the media outlets and journalists relevant to your client’s industry or target audience and to find those outlets that are specifically important to them. This involves researching the type of content they cover, their audience, tone, and editorial calendars. This knowledge helps to tailor pitches and messages to align with the media outlet’s preferences and needs, increasing the chances of securing coverage.
Build strong relationships
Behind the scenes, your PR professionals will be investing time in building and maintaining relationships with journalists and reporters. This involves networking, engaging with them on social media, attending industry events and taking the time to immerse themselves in their work. Building genuine relationships based on trust and mutual respect can lead to long-term partnerships with favorable results.
When working in specific industries PR professionals are able to utilize their relationships to benefit their specific client’s needs. Just like any other relationship, they deserve to be treated with respect. Responding promptly, keeping constant contact and sharing relevant news are just a few of the ways that PR professionals can help maintain these relationships.
Identify and tailor the story
Storytelling is an essential skill and a well-crafted story can capture the attention of journalists. That being said, it’s crucial to tailor pitches to the specific media outlet and journalist, ensuring that the story aligns. It’s important to approach journalists with personalized and relevant pitches that demonstrate an understanding of their interests and preferences to maintain the relationship. You do not want to email a reporter something they aren’t interested in, you need to show that you know what they cover.
It’s important to ask clients the right questions in order to discover what makes them and their company unique.
Measure and evaluate efforts
It’s essential to track and analyze media coverage to understand the impact of media relations efforts. This involves not just monitoring mentions, but evaluating the reach and impact of each piece. This will assess the effectiveness of the media relations strategy that we outlined in planning, step one of the persuasion equation process. This data will provide insight to guide future strategies.
Media relations plays a significant role in building visibility and shaping an organization’s reputation. By following the steps of research, building relationships, crafting compelling stories, being responsive and reliable and measuring and evaluating media relations efforts, strong media relations can enhance an organization’s credibility, establish its expertise, create a favorable public image and ultimately contribute to its overall success.