October 12th, 2015
Are you getting the most from your PR campaigns? With so many channels and influencers coupled with compressed timelines and news cycles, PR can be overwhelming and chaotic. So how do you separate yourself or clients from others? Honing in on fundamentals is the first step. Consider these three things to improve media engagement and coverage.
Although this simple task can be time consuming, it can make or break your ability to cut through the noise and garner media attention, literally and figuratively. Before any PR campaign, take the time to identify a list of key reporters whether it is three or 300. Investing the time doing research will provide insight into what the reporter has written, what their interests are and who they recently wrote about. This will help you tailor your pitch and signal to the reporter that you invested the time not to waste theirs with an irrelevant inquiry.
Reporters can tell that you took the time to figure out their beat and may be more inclined to respond.
Every plan should have a contingency, especially PR campaigns. Because there are so many moving parts to a major product rollout or launch, there is always something that could change the timeline and impact the cadence of your media outreach. Balancing embargoes and lead times with deadlines can be very stressful. The mantra “keep calm and carry on” applies here. Integrating contingencies and alternatives, such as bylined articles, surveys and infographics will provide dry powder to drive media opportunities in the interim. These tactics will help you stay active and engage with the media until the kinks get worked out of the larger campaigns.
As a PR professional, it is your responsibility to cultivate and maintain close and productive relationships. Being friendly, creative, resourceful and most importantly responsive are the keys to building relationships with reporters. This takes a considerable amount of time and effort, so stay focused and remain consistent and persistent, but in a helpful way. Also, being a resource does not always mean your company and client should be represented in every pitch or overture to a reporter. Being a genuine (and valuable) resource should include other sources and materials.
Without the fundamentals, PR can be a nascent activity. If you stay focused, do your research, adapt, and position yourself as a resource, media relationships will sprout, and so will the interviews, appearances and articles.