- Understand what media outlet you are approaching and why you are approaching them: An industry blog is far different that a local news network.
- Ddevelop a respectful relationship with a reporter, editor, or writer: Study the work of the media professional. Understand that her job is to make sure that her listeners, viewers or readers have the best sources available for a timely, relevant and interesting story. Reporters do not have time to spend trying to figure out why you might be a good source.
- Iincorporate media relations into your everyday routine: This is everything from frequently reading the work of an online newspaper or reporter you like to keeping a notebook of good story ideas. Don’t remove yourself from the news cycle. Understand how you can be a part of communicating the news to position yourself as a smart source.
- Share you comments and introduce yourself to reporters: Now more than ever is a great time to get to know reporters through comments that can be made on line. Read their work or watch videos on the Web. Offer thoughtful comments on what you liked about their work or angles that could enhance future stories.
The past few weekends I’ve spent most of my time doing yard work. The right of passage for spring. It isn’t mowing but the more detailed and routine kind of work…killing off the weeds, cleaning up the flower beds, getting the vegetable garden ready for planting, and preparing the patio and pool for summer fun.
The work isn’t that bad. Ed and I break our spring clean up into four weekends and blast the music to make the time go by quickly. By far, the best type of music to listen to while killing off dandelions on two acres is ’80s hair-band rock to get you moving!
While I was in the backyard spraying the weed killer, I got into the rhythm of killing one week…spray…take a few steps…spray…take a few steps…spray…all while listening to G&R, “Welcome to the Jungle.” The work was repetitious but I found myself becoming more efficient in the process. When you are in this type of repetitive, thoughtful mindset, it frees up the clutter of your mind to think about other things. It’s the same experience when I go running.
I started thinking about some client work for the coming week and pitches that needed to be written and made for them. Media relations is one of the fundamentals of public relations. In order to be consistent and successful with media relations for clients you need to incorporate rhythm into your pitching and be efficient with how the story ideas are developed. It takes a lot of discipline, a lot of follow up and a lot of maintenance.
So as you begin to understand what is necessary to begin mastering media relations for your company, keep some things in mind:
Media relations is one of core disciplines in public relations. It’s how you get your message in the news but i doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a consistent approach and one that needs to be implemented daily.
Spring is here and summer will be soon. The yard work will continue well into November. It isn’t overwhelming since it needs to be approached consistently. Like your media relations, you need to approach it daily…”Sweet Child of Mine.”
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Founded in 2008, AMM Communications is a St. Louis-based public relations and marketing firm that provides public relations, marketing, crisis communication, social media and sales management training for small- and mid-sized financial institutions, professional service firms and manufacturing companies. For more information, please navigate to www.ammcommunications.com or call 314.485.9499.