If you spent any time on social media in recent years, you’ve noticed how much attention the media creates and gets. From a business perspective, it is critical to build rapport and a foundation with members of media.
Learning to communicate with the media regularly and effectively is essential for any company. Chances are your company has a designated PR representative or spokesperson — if not, these next few points are essential and shed light on the best ways to interact with the media.
BUILD A RELATIONSHIP
Building and maintaining an alliance that withstands time is essential for any career, especially in media. Networking is a huge component of any public-facing profession, therefore forming an alliance where pitches and interesting ideas can be freely shared creates a win-win.
Getting to know each other, preferences, and communication styles can help in this quest. If you think about it, a reporter is likely to come back to you for good content because they know they’ll produce a good story from a reliable and trustworthy source.
BUILD THE STORY
Part of a good relationship is being able to build upon a narrative. Instead of sharing the highlights, walk through the story and highlight amusing parts and why readers should know more. In revealing the story, list credible sources or contacts so that the reporter can list and/or contact them. This tactic is another great way to build rapport, and more resources equal more collaboration.
FOLLOW INDUSTRY RULES
Collaborating on a story and want to see it before it’s published? Chances are that won’t happen. There are limitations to what can be shared. In addition, you should also know that gifts, trips, or anything paid only decreases your chance of being featured as it may be a conflict of interest. Also choose your words wisely because, unless explicitly stated that information stays off the record, everything you say to a journalist will be public knowledge.
KNOW THE TIMING
The last and most important aspect of media interaction is timing. In addition to the topic or event being relevant, the timing must be perfect. Don’t pitch a story idea or conference a day before it happens, or worse after the fact … Give the reporter time to think and generate ideas, an outline, and a narrative. Consider everything you’ve read thus far and you’re on a great path to a solid alliance for your business.
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