Why You Should Care About Media Relations
You may think since your PR is mostly done using paid media, shared media, or owned media, (learn the difference here) that developing relationships with journalists and bloggers is not all that critical for your B2B PR strategy. Or, you may think that your particular industry is not one that journalists would be interested in.
Check out three reasons those excuses are busted:
Reason 1: You Have a Niche Market
The truth is that since you have a niche market, your company is already primed for creating targeted media pieces. For instance, if you market inventory software, you have a certain expertise that isn't shared with other software creators. The trick is to get your media piece into the right hands, e.g., trade journals read by your clients.
Reason #2: Media Coverage Scores Points with Search Engines
In addition, media coverage boosts your SEO ranking and increases visibility and site traffic. Backlinks to your site last a long time in the media. So obtaining media coverage rounds out your PR strategy nicely.
Reason #3: It Promotes You as a Thought Leader
Landing media coverage boosts your credibility as an influencer in your industry. This helps to promote earned media and increase leads.
Alright, so now you know that maintaining media relations really isn't optional, how do you go about builidng relationships with those in the media?
How to Build Fantastic Media Relations From the Ground Up
Did you know...
Rule #1: Build a Foundation by Finding Common Ground
As is true of any relationship, you must build common ground first. When you hit it off with someone in the real world, is it because you've run out to street corner and asked for volunteers to be your friend? I really hope not.
No, likely you developed your relationship with this person organically, and over time. You have similar points of view and similar interests. The same is true with those in the media.
Don't send out mass emails with your pitch to every big-name journalist. Instead, find out which ones share your interests and read their content regularly.
Rule #2: Start the Framework by Engaging Online
Once you've started enjoying a journalist's content, make sure to share it with others, leave comments at the when appropriate, and engage in conversation on social media outlets. If you at least have a passing familiarity with the journalist, your story may be less likely to get tossed to the trash folder once you pitch it.
Rule #3: Pitch Engaging and Relevant Stories
- It hasn't been done to death
- It isn't self-promotional ("Check out our unique, best, most wonderful gizmo")
- It's relevant and attractive to the target audience
The last point is quite critical. Some people feel that any news is newsworthy. Think about it though. Do you care if a company you do business with just hired a new VP of operations? Likely not, since it probably is not relevant to you.
Likewise, your internal affairs have little to no bearing on the lives of your audience. They want to read about what benefits them and what is relevant to their day-to-day functioning.
When pitching a story, ask yourself:
- Is it newsworthy?
- Does it benefit the audience?
- Would I want to read about it?
- Does it display a concern for humanity or simply promote my own agenda?
Rule #4: Top off Your Pitch with the Right Details
When you email the reporter(s) of your choosing, follow these general rules of email pitching:
- Keep your subject line short, but detailed. No vague "Check this out!" titles.
- Outline your idea in a few short paragraphs - what, when, where, why, and how.
- Offer visual content where appropriate
- If the subject is technical or complicated, use clear concise wording to describe it.
- Offer an exclusive if you want to nail a top tier media outlet that may only consider exclusives
- Offer a "heads up" to key meia
Rule #5: Be Your Own Advocate
Don't rely on reporters to prioritize your pitch over all others. If your story catches their eye, but they need more information, it may be relegated to the back burner before they think of following up with you.
Be proactive. After you have sent your pitch, follow up with a phone call or on social media to see if you can offer the journalist more information or if he needs anything clarified.
One you get media coverage, don't forget to promote the heck out of it. That means posting it on social media, referencing it in emails, in blogs, on your site, in your email signature.
A Tested Blueprint for B2B PR Success
Why can we say the above methods work for landing media coverage? Because they are tried and true building blocks in our PR house. Want the rest of the plan?
Check out how this startup went from obscurity to notoriety. In just seven months their PR campaign landed media placements in Forbes, press mentions in Tech Crunch and Bloomberg TV, and more than 160,000 headline impressions!
Handpicked Related Content:
We wish you the same success!