The most important thing to implement successful media relations is to know … the media. Logical? Indeed, but let us remind you that you don’t communicate the same way with your customers, your employees or journalists, because the information each of your target expects from your company is different. A customers needs to be kept informed about your products or services, you employees want to know the company’s strategy and how it could impact his/her job and a journalist needs an information that is new, presented in a neutral and motivated way.
Consequently, it is essential to know the media before even starting media relations. So, you will start by reading the press on a regular basis. Your intent is to identify, across the articles you read, different indicators that will be helpful to constitute your contact base:
> What are the publications I would like to get articles in?
> What are the publications my customers / prospects get articles in?
> Who are the journalists dealing with features on my company’s activities?
> Who are the journalists dealing with topics I could offer an expert view on?
As you proceed in this exercise, you will start identifying a whole list of media contacts that will need regular updates (turnover is not reserved to companies). It is preferable to classify this list depending on the journalists’ interests as this classification will help you segment the list depending on the announcement, target the right journalists and avoid sending every pieces of news to every journalists. This step, which might seem a little fastidious, will enable you to direct your press releases to the right target of journalists and, consequently, maximize your chances of getting published.
Next week, our suggestion #3 – TARGET!