Modern Media Relations: 3 Things You Need for Success

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

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Media relations has always been the most visible part of the public relations mix. Businesses like seeing their stories in print or on the screen – they always have and they always will. As the media world evolves, so too does the practice of media relations.

Here are three things to keep your media relations program evolving, too:

Don’t forget the fundamentals

Yes, so much is in flux, but some basics will never change. Know what the media covers and what they need. Keep your nose for news, and don’t pitch content that isn’t a fit. Always be thinking about how you can provide value and assistance to the reporter.

Understand the rules of engagement

(and how they are a-changing)
It started with press releases in the mail. Then it was faxes. Then it was email. Now it’s social media and who knows what will be next. While the basics are the same, the manner in which you reach out is different. Do your homework.

Be fast and flexible

Now more than ever, you must be flexible with your topics and timing, pivoting to the needs of the journalists, bloggers and influencers. They are in the driver’s seat, and they might have a different vision for the story than you do. Deadlines have always been a factor, and they’ve always been aggressive. Multiply that by two, and you’ve got today’s real-time, heavy-duty deadlines. “Now” means 5 minutes ago. You’ve got to hustle to get the coverage.

Media relations can be an overwhelming task. It requires you to do a lot of homework, wear a lot of hats and have a thick skin. But it’s all worth it in the end because no other tool in your marketing arsenal can provide the objective, third-party endorsement. Third-party credibility makes for first-class marketing!

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