I contributed the first of these three media relations best practices to this article at CIO.com by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. I added two more for our blog. Here, then, are three often-overlooked things companies should be doing to get the word out about themselves to the media:
1) Use Twitter Frequently
Reporters are heavy users of Twitter. It is a go-to distribution channel to break news, of course, but it has also become a primary way for reporters to develop expert sources.
Demonstrate your expertise on Twitter by sharing articles related to your industry and business that reporters who cover your industry would find compelling. Use Twitter’s search function to find and follow reporters who cover your industry. Retweet their stories. Interact with them. Build a relationship with them.
This could be done through a company account but it would be far more effective if done through a personal account. Like everyone, reporters will have more trust in an actual person than an anonymous brand account.
For small businesses, the most likely candidate would be the owner. For larger businesses, that role would most likely be filled by the communications director or head of public relations.
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2) Scan Help A Reporter Out Daily
Scan Help A Reporter Out daily for any queries from reporters that anyone in your organization can answer. That means that you’ll need to know who in your organization is the expert that can answer a particular question.
The response should answer the reporter’s question as directly and as fully as possible. The quicker you answer the query, the more likely your quote will be used. The sooner a reporter finds what they’re looking for, the less likely they’ll look further.
The basic idea is to quickly give them a cut-and-paste quote for their story.
3) Blogging As A Media Relations Tool
If you don’t have a blog, consider creating one.
If you do, use it to publish interesting, compelling content that demonstrates your expertise in field. Share your thought leadership blog posts on Twitter and link to your blog from your Twitter bio.
This can help establish credibility among media that you know what you’re talking about.
If you’ve been quoted in the media before, be sure to display those quotes with links to the articles on your blog in the sidebar where reporters can see them. Part of what journalists will be looking for is whether or not you are easy to work with. If you’ve worked with media before, they’ll be more likely to consider you.
Broadcast reporters in particular will need to know if you are good on camera or sound good on radio.
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