Continuing the conversation about the need for public relations comes the topic that some may argue doesn’t apply to them … when it does.
Media Relations . . .
Plain and simple, what is media relations? And, as a business owner, do you even need it?
Today, there are many avenues for news gathering … from the traditional world of print and broadcast media, to the trendiness of online bloggers and social media … all of which play an integral role in spreading the word about timely topics. On behalf of any company or organization, media relations embraces the endorsement of a specific idea.
Developing an effective media relations plan can directly benefit your business in many ways, causing a healthy domino effect. Initially reaching out to the press (e.g. reporter, editor, producer) is a surefire way to gain the support of a third party because, once your story gets pitched to the right source, that message will be heard loud and clear. The result can then be shared with other key leaders in the field, further communicating what you wish to convey. That, in turn, produces a direct outpouring to the general public and keeps your business in front of the masses. And so on and so forth …
So how to go about getting effective media relations? Do your homework. Know which media outlet is best for your specific need. Determine who wants what … and when. Keep the lines of communication open. Just like targeting the right audience lends validity to your specific event, developing key relationships with media contacts is crucial. If a PR firm has ties to a specific reporter, it’s more likely press coverage will occur if there is a current connection, as compared to one that never before existed. Not familiar with the press? A little bit of research goes a long way and can make all the difference in garnering attention, but also know your boundaries (i.e. respect) when approaching media contacts.
In summary, utilizing the media can strengthen your message within your community, across your state or even, depending on the topic, nationally. And in the eyes of those who rule out traditional media circuits, don’t … seasoned journalists seek out newsworthy information in all forms.