media relations
Several years ago before public relations became truly public again and organizations could get their news to consumers without having mainstream media cover it, mainstream media dominated public relations. Press releases, pitches, media advisories and press conferences were the key players in public relations. Since digital marketing has taken over the marketing and advertising world, PR has followed in their footsteps. No longer are PR guys and girls having dinner every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with top reporters, journalist and producers, and following up with a heart-filled pitch but, rather, top PR guys and girls are fostering those relationships elsewhere. Here are five ways to foster and grow relationships with the media outside of dinner and drinks:

Follow Journalists and Producers on Social Media

Journalists, reporters and producers use social media too. A lot of times, these media-deciders will use both personal and business social media accounts. Follow them. Follow them and get to know them personally and professionally. The more you pay attention to their style of writing, topics covered, and all of the news outlets that they contribute to, you will be able to tailor your public relations materials to fit what they report on. Follow them as your company too.

Let Them Notice You Before You Pitch

Hey, remember that time we said follow them on social media? Well, it’s more than just following them and paying attention to what content they publish. Engage with them. Like and retweet their content on your personal or business accounts. Tweet them back or comment and tell them what a great article it is. Why? Because this is you starting to develop a relationship with them. They’ll take note if you do so and often enough they will soon begin to follow you, read your content, engage with your account, and most importantly, they’ll know who you are. This will make a pitch more personal and they’ll recognize your name, title and company, and will be more likely to open the email and cover the story.

Implement an Online Newsroom on Your Website

While PR’s critical “Ps”—pitches, press releases, press conferences—are important to an organization’s overall strategy, journalist are out finding news and searching for news before you send them the pitch. For an organization, this means having an online news room with valuable content in the form of press kits, previous coverage, news releases, high-quality images and product spec sheets is critical to getting coverage. Optimize this page or section of your website for high-keyword scores and results so that your searchability is high and journalists and reporters can find you easily. This little section of a website can make or break coverage for your company.

Influential Media is More Than Magazines, Television, Newspaper and Radio

It’s a digital world—news happens on digital; consumer experiences happen on digital; commerce happens on digital; information sharing happens on digital—live there too. Getting front-page coverage in a newspaper is great and should be rewarded, but, depending on your company’s target market, it could be missing a huge generational gap in consumers. Send your pitches to bloggers, YouTube influencers, Instagram personalities, etc. This is media too—debatably, stronger and richer media due to the large following of the same target group, generation and tribes of people.

There are a hundred more strategies and efforts to get on the media’s cover-anything-sent-to-us list, but these are some simple, easy-to-implement ways of ensuring your pitches are seen, heard and covered! Happy pitching!

By: Justin Ashwell, Partner