What your media relations counsel wish you knew…
Media is a tricky thing… some people are good while others are beyond bad. I have been doing media relations for a number of years now, and have garnered my clients placements in outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNBC, FOX, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and many more.
Here are some pointers I wish every client knew:
1. Breaking news rules. No matter how excited you are about an interview, or how much planning has gone into it, if there is breaking news (i.e. fire, disaster, and yes even car chases), and it doesn’t directly involve you or your company, YOU WILL BE BUMPED. No need to yell at pr counsel here or have hard feelings, rest assured that it happens to the best and brightest and be flexible with a reschedule.
2. You can not issue a press release, statement or quote and expect it to be picked up verbatim in the media. A journalists job is to tell a story, and on top of that, an unbiased one, so make sure your news is relevant, timely and/or part of an overarching trend.
3. The Wall Street Journal will most likely not report on your news unless you are a public company. While the Journal is often considered the “holy grail” of financial newspapers, know that unless your company is the hottest thing in the media, you will probably not get published if your private.
4. If interested in doing broadcast media interviews, get media trained by a professional. Ensure that the professional puts you on camera and plays back your strengths and weaknesses. I would recommend being media trained for print publications too, because you must always fine tune your message and interview skills, but if this is not possible, at least do broadcast training.
5. Your pr counsel is only as good as the information you supply them with. Arm your counsel with cool facts, trends your seeing and new product info- let them craft the appropriate messages and target the correct publications, but the more they know, the better they will serve you. Also, ensure that your pr people are part of all the important conversations happening with the top executives in your company- they can often offer unseen communications perspectives and will always be thinking of your public image.
6. Public relations and media relations do not always immediately result in sales. Understand that any media placements garnered are important to building overall brand image. Additionally, utilize media coverage in your own marketing as a “third party endorsement.” Point to the publications you were quoted in on your website, and order reprints of articles and pass out to key clients, prospectives and consultants.
7. Watch that mouth. If you are a high-profile member of your company remember, if you dont want it printed or broadcasted, dont do it, write it or say it. Assume that when you are talking to any journalist, it is “on the record.”
8. Ensure your company has key messages. Everyone from your secretary to the CEO should be able to describe what you do and why you do it. A little message training goes a long way- your people are your face to the public.
9. Be patient. Wide media presence does not happen overnight. Let your reputation and reach grow organically over time.
10. Lastly, hire a professional. Do your research before you hire any pr counsel, because not everyone is good at it. Be sure your counsel is not spamming reporters and bloggers and that they finely craft your messages and highly target your outreach to the most relevant outlets. If your looking for someone… check out the ladies behind this blog. M & K are the best in the industry and Intertwined will serve you well.
Show Your Brilliance.
(one of our favorite re-occuring guest bloggers!)