Executing a media relations strategy is a lot like any new marketing campaign – it requires research, planning, execution and evaluation. Here are five things I’d tell anyone seeking the media relations expertise of Borshoff.
I’ll want to understand the news value
Before writing a press release or pitching a reporter, I’ll want to understand why something is newsworthy. If I ask you some follow-up questions, I’m doing my due diligence to have a thorough understanding of why we’re communicating something as “news.” I’ll always be up front if I think I’m risking your reputation by putting out non-news…or wasting your budget.
I use a custom media list
Michael Smart, a successful media relations expert, preached to me the 80-20 rule: Spend 80 percent of your time focusing on the top 20 percent of your media list. The difficulty comes when I choose who needs to stand at the top of the list. I need to prove to reporters I’m worth their time, and it takes effort to research and gauge the best reporters to receive a pitch or news release rather than sending it en masse.
I’ll advise the best day to release the news
Many clients need help making one-time announcements, destined for a specific date and time. Others use us for ongoing counsel and planning. Whatever the circumstance, I’ll be sure to be thoughtful about when to release news. Although I don’t control the news of the day, my job is to stay informed and know when there’s a higher chance of getting exposure.
I’ll track any coverage I gain
There are no certainties when it comes to coverage – but I’m not one to send and forget. When there is coverage, I’m definitely the first to track it and share the success. When not, I’m looking at strategy and proposing adjustments on the next try. I trust Google Alerts to give me a pretty accurate sense of coverage, but I also have access to a more robust tracking service if more details are desired.
I judge by quality, not quantity
We had a recent meeting with PRNewswire, and they back me up on this. When coverage happens, I judge the success of my efforts by looking at what the coverage portrays – key message inclusion (double points if it was the headline!), the type of sentiment the story left and who was quoted. Beyond an outlet’s circulation, I’ll want to know if your website traffic goes up, the volume and engagement of social media chatter or, hopefully, an improvement to your company’s bottom line.