Before a company is able to take advantage of any positive media coverage it receives, it needs to be prepared with media relations efforts, by developing relationships with the right and relevant media outlets.
The first step for a company often as part of a public relations program is to develop strong relationships with media outlets and journalists is by first identifying the most relevant outlets that align with the company’s own business goals and its target audience. After identifying them and creating a list of contacts that the company needs to reach out to, it’s important to get familiarized with the primary contact of each of those outlets. After conducting this research, companies will be sure that they will be reaching out to the right person at each media outlet they are targeting.
Additionally, through the same research, companies also need to learn about the marketing needs of the journalists and media outlets that they are targeting, as well as the types of stories that they write and talk about. It’s essential for companies to carefully study each publication that they want to target to ensure that whenever a company has a story it wants to share with them, it will be developed in a way that will fit the angle of that publication. If a company wants to work with a very specific journalist or reporter, a great strategy would be to research their earlier work to get a better idea of the types of stories that they share with the public.
Once a company has figured out the type of media coverage it wants to generate for itself, it’s time to reach out to the main contacts for each one of those outlets. A great starting point would be to comment on other news articles that those journalists have previously shared with the unique perspective of the company, as well as provide the journalist with a contact person at the company if the journalist would like to get more information on that perspective. Even if this type of interaction doesn’t generate any direct media coverage for the company, it’s still helpful because companies get to stay on the radar of those journalists or media outlets for a longer period of time.
Additionally, companies also have the opportunity to reach out to reporters and journalists directly via email, or even through phone calls. When doing this, it’s important for companies to personalize the pitch and make it meaningful and relevant to each reporter or journalist so that they are interested in the company’s story. To do that, companies need to figure out how the expertise of the company and the journalist can fit with the target audience of the outlet. At the end of the day, even if the outlet doesn’t take up the company story, as long as the pitch is personalized to the journalist or reporter, the company will have a far easier time identifying used trends that will be interesting to them in the future.