Improve Your Media Relations Skills

tips for successful media relations

Inform The Public With Media Relations

In order for your public relations plan to succeed, you need to have a strong relationship with the media. Media relations involves building relationships with media and then working together to inform the public of company news through consistent and credible media coverage. Developing a strong understanding of the media and how to communicate with reporters will help you get your news covered, and improve the success of your public relations plan.

7 Tips To Help You Increase Your Media Exposure

  1. Create A Media List
    Before you start crafting the perfect pitch, research publications and reporters to build a detailed media list. Knowing who to talk to at a publication will save you time and benefit your relationship with reporters in the future. Once you have decided which publication and reporters may be interested in your story, you will be able to create targeted pitches that have a greater chance of being covered.
  2. Know The Reporter You Are Pitching To
    Learning details about reporters can mean the difference between your news being covered and your future pitches being tossed or deleted. Research how and when certain reporters like to be contacted. Some reporters like to receive pitches through email and others prefer to receive a phone call.  Always be mindful when contacting reporters. Sending them an email or calling them when they are on deadline can stress your relationship and lessen your chance for coverage.
  3. Be Courteous On The Phone
    When calling a reporter introduce yourself clearly and reference any past conversations you’ve had. Then ask if it is a good time for them to talk. A reporter’s time is precious, so being considerate and understanding will help you make a good impression. Plan your conversation out ahead of time, so you can communicate clearly and relay important information quickly.
  4. Target Your Message
    A clear and well developed message will be easier for you to pitch and for reporters to build a story around. Once you have clarified your message, consider creating a sheet with important facts that support your message. Doing this will help you communicate clearly and stay on topic during your pitch. If you are sending your pitch by email, take some time to send separate and personalized pitches to each reporter. Carbon copies are easier for you to send, but are impersonal, and will reflect negatively on you and your pitch.
  5. Be Careful When Emailing Your Pitch
    Publications receive hundreds of emails a day. When emailing your pitch, create a catchy subject line that will stand out. Avoid using all caps or excessively long subject lines. Your goal isto catch their attention without appearing intimidating. If possible, call the reporter with your pitch instead of emailing. While email is easy and can be done quickly, it can just as easily be deleted or forgotten. A phone call allows you to speak directly to the reporter and communicate your message.
  6. Create A Beneficial Relationship
    Whenever possible, offer to help a reporter with a story he or she is working on. Offering your assistance may not guarantee your story makes the front page of the next issue, but it does build goodwill and strengthen your relationship. Helping reporters may also create new opportunities you might have not considered otherwise.
  7. Follow Up
    Once you have made your pitch, follow up with the reporter on a regular basis. At times, a reporter will be working on several stories and your story may not be run immediately. Politely follow up and provide additional information to support your message and create a compelling story. Keep tips 2 and 3 in mind when following up. Remember how and when the reporter likes to be contacted and always be courteous of his or her time when calling to follow up.

A successful media relations plan depends on your ability to communicate your message clearly to the media. Use the tips above to hone your media relation skills, create better pitches and boost your media coverage.