How do you get your marketing message not only heard but relayed through publications? How do you capture the attention of busy journalists so that they publish your marketing efforts? How do you improve media relations so that your marketing strategies succeed? The media is a company’s loudspeaker, amplifying what you have to say loud and clear so your target market can hear and ultimately respond.
The shifting sands of media and marketing can make establishing successful relations with publications a real challenge. However, with change comes opportunity to leverage the innovative landscape of digital marketing. This is your chance to let the media know who you are and what you have to show and tell.
Whilst tech advances are moving at great speed, many of the tips to attracting media attention are anchored in solid marketing foundations. Whether you are a business leader, an in-house marketing professional or want to outsource to an integrated agency, follow our 9 Tips for Media Relations Success.
What’s the story?
Are you completely won over by your company’s product or service? That’s great, but you still need to engage journalists to tell your marketing story. Create a narrative arc with a clear beginning, middle and end through your copy. Think catchy headlines and attractive hooks to give press releases and copy greater appeal.
Who are you talking too?
Ever met someone who insisted on relating a dull account on a subject you are not interested in? Focus on publications who reach your target market. Write copy and press releases to fit and in with the style and vibe of a magazine or online publication. Consider what columns they have and what type of stories and subjects they cover, how and in what format.
Are you thinking about good vibrations?
Technology has certainly changed the way journalists and marketing experts communicate. However, good relations are achieved by building up sound relationships. Be personal, authentic and transparent. Reply promptly and be friendly and not too dry in how you communicate. Keep emails short and to the point. Find out what journalists want rather than expect them to jump to your beat.
Dare to be different.
Sometimes marketing teams try so hard to create viral content that they come off as whacky rather than clever and miss the mark completely. Being different could mean joining forces with companies and organizations that would not usually be associated with your brand. Clever campaigns with interesting partners can really spark media interest.
Be pitch perfect.
Get your story right and learn to deliver it in an effective mini spiel. Journalists do not have time to listen to in-depth information from the start. Instead, they want a summing up that grabs them. Understanding what journalists want and responding helpfully to their deadlines with quotes, interviews, information and photographs, plus graphics such as logos, can really improve your chances of being featured. Follow up your pitches and do not simply stick to one version of your story.
Even the most ordinary, everyday products and services can be transformed into compelling copy with some creativity. Think how you can make what is usual unusual and how you can inject some pizzazz and dynamic elements into press releases. Does a survey reveal some interesting facts? What latest developments can you showcase?
You are only as good as your copy.
Using exciting language and bringing the pertinent message to the top of your copy works wonders. The vocabulary that you use needs to be concise and on-brand. More than this, it needs to read well, with accurate grammar and sentences that do not run on too long. Try to create copy that journalists can lift from a release and tweak before reusing. What sets good copy apart from mediocre copy? Often it is the magic wand of a great editor who gives words real meaning and life. Look at what other copy is out there and how each piece is written.
Strategies need to change to succeed.
One size does not fit all in marketing. How you are reaching media, whether through e-blasts, press releases and articles, needs to change according to what you want to convey. With each marketing drive, think about your audience – who they are and how you can best reach them.
Blow your own trumpet.
When you are featured in a publication, be it in print or online, make sure you shout about it. Social media platforms create lots of mileage to optimize coverage through Tweets, Facebook Posts and links. It is up to you to create a buzz and this in turn can extend media interest. There are many creative ways you can link to media coverage too and encourage shares and likes. Including an ‘in the news’ section on your website is also a good way to showcase media attention.
Being relevant, interesting, creative and responding to publication profiles and individual journalists is
a fast-track way to improve media relations for marketing success.