The Public Relations landscape may have changed drastically over the past couple of years, but the basics remain the same. The following nine tips can help keep you grounded as you contemplate the world of social media, viral videos and blogger relations.
- Fortify Your Message – You must have a strong, carefully crafted and well-written message to get make your story stand out. Make sure you position your story appropriately upfront to gain the most exposure for your message. For best results, be news worthy.
- Build Strong Relationships with the Media – Know the journalist, blogger, producer or editor and the publication they write for before picking up the phone or sending an email. Engage with the media online (e.g., comment on a Facebook post, re-tweet) even when you’re not pitching them a story. LinkedIn is also a great way to connect with media professionals and to highlight your own work.
- Create a Plan – Like any other business function, strong results can only happen with an effective strategy and supporting plan. What are your goals? Who are your target audiences? What is your timeline? What are your metrics for success? Use your answers to these questions to create an effective plan that is comprehensive and realistic.
- Be Creative in Media Choices – Your communications plan will help you whittle down the infinite number of traditional and digital media outlets available today. With your plan in hand, choose the types of media venues that target audiences read/watch and that may have an interest in what your pitching, then determine which journalists you should be talking to at those publications.
- Recognize the Value of PR – A prominent mention in a respected media outlet or a Facebook post that has been shared and re-shared can be worth more than an entire ad campaign. And, the mention of your product or service in the media is free!
- Be Accessible – Media professionals prefer to work with people who are accessible and easy to work with. Always ask them what their deadline is and what they need from you in order to meet it. Also be sure to offer the additional elements they need to round out their story: photos, customer references, analyst references and additional sources, if necessary.
- Follow-Up – One phone interview or email is often not enough. It is important to be in contact with journalists on a consistent basis with compelling information that demonstrates what you are pitching is viable, credible and worthy of coverage.
- When in Doubt, Seek the Advice of a PR Professional – Public Relations is a business discipline; seek out a PR professional for advice and counsel when appropriate. They can be invaluable business partners.
- Never Give Up! – You may not get the results you expect the first time around. Keep trying – persistent people get noticed!