Max is a result oriented SaaS sales and business development professional, with a blend of marketing, customer development, and leadership skills.
Effective media relations can make the difference between a brand that is able to out preform their PR budget and competition and one that struggles to get a positive return on their PR investment. It is really at the heart of what PR professionals do, and a fundamental part of a brand’s communications strategy. There are a few simple, yet highly important things to do and consider when executing your media relations plan. Let’s look at some of them.
Maintain a Media List
Each organization should have a list of media contacts who write about topics related to your brand or industry. Think broadly about who counts as a “media contact,” and include journalists, bloggers, commentators and other influencers in your space. It is necessary to research each contact and document the types of stories that they write or contribute to. In order to do effective PR pitching, you’ll want to understand each contact in as much depth as possible. You’ll also notice that I called this section, “Maintain a Media List,” rather than, “Build a Media List.” That’s because your list isn’t a set-and-forget database. It needs to be up to date to be useful.
Once you’ve identified a media contact, connect with them however possible through social media so that you can closely follow their work. It makes sense, when practical, to introduce yourself to media contacts before you have a story to pitch. Don’t forget that media contacts are human, and like the rest of us, they enjoy it when people share and engage with their content. Doing so certainly won’t hurt your chances when they review your story ideas.
Craft Specific and Relevant PR Pitches
Successful media relations requires matching each pitch with the media contact you are targeting. Generic pitches are rarely effective. You want to make sure that the topic of your pitch is in line with what the author has written before and relevant to their audience. It is also helpful to reference past articles or posts to show how your story idea is related.
You want to make life as easy as possible for your media contacts. This means providing sufficient detail and resources to complete a story. Include quotes from executives, partners or customers and, when possible, make them available for an interview. Add relevant statistics and links to related research or commentary. It also pays to include relevant images in both pitches and press releases.
Media relations isn’t tricky. It comes down to just a few best practices that make all the difference. With careful attention and the right tools, you can boost your results and develop long lasting relationships with everyone who is in the position to help spread your brand message.