What is media relations and why does it matter?
Motion PR defines media relations as, “…in reference to conducting outreach or responding to the news media on behalf of your organization or client. Media relations is often considered a specialized function within a public relations campaign and can help agencies understand when it is best to do an email pitch or a traditional press release.”
In public relations it’s essential to have good media relationships. PR professionals rely on the media and journalists to cover their stories, campaigns and new launches. Basically, without strong media relations, a campaign or story may not reach its full potential. It may sound daunting to cold call a journalist and ask for coverage of an event, product or campaign but if you remember some of these key tips it will make the process a lot less intimidating.
1. Research. Simply researching stories related to your topic can help you find what reporters are covering stories in your field. If a reporter is covering a story related to the one you want to share then they may be more likely to cover yours as well.
2. Relax. Remember that although you need help from a journalist or reporter to gain coverage, they also need you. Media relationships are a two way street- they need you to give them stories just as much as you need them to cover your stories. Look at it as building a mutually beneficial work relationship.
3. The coffee date. Journalists and reporters get emails and calls all day long filled with pitches. It’s important to show that you’re more interested in a mutual relationship rather than just a simple pitch getting covered. Asking a journalist to meet up for coffee shows that you’re interested in what they’re doing as well as getting your stories covered. Once you’re sitting down with the reporter take the time to ask them what kinds of stories they’re covering or interested in covering and offer to keep your ear open.
Building positive relationships with the media means more chances at gaining coverage. Just remember, excessively bugging the media will get you nowhere. Know when to back off in order to avoid burning bridges. For more tips on pitching visit, http://blog.journalistics.com/2013/two-most-effective-media-relations-tactics-2013/.