Media relations can have a huge impact on brand building, visibility and credibility and is one of the most sought after services of PR agencies. Earning media coverage for your business can stand the test of time (subject to not experiencing a crisis) as it helps to maintain reputations, builds trust and can often reach audiences in an authentic way,often less overwhelming way than intensive advertising for example. Media relations is powerful but the issue that many entrepreneurs and small business owners have is understanding how to achieve media coverage for their businesses and understanding how to harness the power of the media.
The PESO model created by Gini Dietrich offers an excellent illustration of how layered the media is and how powerful it is when you assess these layers.
When looking at how media relations can have an impact on your business here are a few things to remember:
Strategy – Remember that when you are seeking media profiling that there has to be a strategy in place, ego driven press profiling is unsustainable and will have very little impact on how your business is perceived by its target audience. Think about who your core clients are and what audience you want to reach using the media – mainstream media is great for reach but it may not have any impact on your target market so really take the time to assess WHY you want to achieve media coverage. You have to ensure you have a plan, goals and prepare for your media relations process both in the long term and short term.
Relationships – Hiring a PR agency or consultant is useful because they usually have established relationships with journalists or media outlets. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner considering undertaking your own media relations campaign then take the time to invest in networking opportunities and building relationships with journalists both online and offline. Social media is a great way to connect with journalists as well as industry networking events or other creative means of connecting with journalists like press lunches/conferences.
Newsworthiness – Remember that the press is an ecosystem which not only feeds the wider public with content and information but it is also responds to what its audiences want. So remember that your relevance is crucial when connecting with editors, journalists and media outlets. Think about who will be consuming the news about your business and why they should care. You can write a press release or you can respond to what current topics are trending. If you are an individual/founder you can also work on your personal brand to become a notable subject matter expert who is called upon to discuss industry relevant news.
Preparedness – There is little point in undertaking media relations if you are not ready. This includes undertaking media training, knowing what to do in a crisis and having a long term plan to ensure your media relations campaign is not just a one off hit but an ongoing long term process which coincides with your other business strategies. If you are aiming for major coverage in mainstream press make sure that your operations are strong enough to handle the new found “fame” – if your business gets featured by one of the world’s most popular media outlets can your website cope? Do you have enough stock? Are your employees ready for the new found attention? Consider this before chasing coverage that you might not be ready for and which could turn a potentially great situation into a negative one.
In this video I highlight some of the tactics that you can use to achieve media coverage and raise your brand visibility. This video also provides you with some easy to use PR tips which will give you the courage and confidence to get your brand out there!