Earlier this year, we gave you the Six Golden Rules of Media Interviews, so I thought it was about time we followed up with the Six Golden Rules of Media Relations.
If you want to raise your profile and increase the coverage you receive in the media, following these golden rules as you create a media strategy are key.
1. Know your media
I once ran a Media Relations Masterclass in which none of the delegates knew the key trade publications for their industry, so it was no surprise to discover they never received any coverage of their activities.
Before you embark on any attempt to raise your profile in the media, you must work out what media are most important for your industry – and what media your customers and stakeholders read or listen to – as these will be the publications and programmes in which you should aim to get coverage.
2. Be strategic
It is vital that have a proper media strategy and plan your coverage, preferably over six months or a year. Create a content calendar which shows what stories will be released when, how, and who to.
For example, if you have a new product or service, decide which media will be most interested, how to release the news – by a press event, a press release, a feature story about its creation, and the most appropriate timing.
3. Have consistent key messages
Everything you release to the media, to the general public, to your stakeholders and customers should be aligned. These should be agreed not just by the Communications or PR department and Marketing but also at board level. It can be extremely damaging if the messages coming out of your organisation or business are inconsistent.
4. Keep your media list updated
Make sure your media contacts are up to date. Your list should include all the most influential journalists and editors for your industry or sector, with their contact details, so that when you have news to impart, you can easily work out who the most appropriate journalist is to contact.
5. Prepare a media toolkit
Your PR team should have a media toolkit ready to send out to any journalists who request information about you.
It should include case studies, interesting high quality stills of the key personnel in your industry, and of products and services in action, biographies, a history of your company, stock video footage and corporate videos.
6. Be targetted
When you are releasing news stories, don’t use a scattergun approach. Make sure you send it only to publications for which you know it is perfect, or to journalists who might be open to covering the story or issue.
You will lose credibility if you just send every story to every journalist on your list. If the story is very obviously irrelevant to their publication, they will bin it and be far less likely to look at any potential stories you send out the next time. So for example, news that you have a new MD probably will not be of interest to the local paper or the business pages of the nationals, but it might be for your specialist or trade press.
These are my six rules – what others do you have?