Is Your Team Practicing SMART Media Relations?

Posted on April 02, 2013

Is Your Team Practicing SMART Media Relations?

By Paul Fulton, Jr., Vice President

Whether a renowned consumer brand or a high-tech startup, obtaining positive media coverage requires an infusion of strategy, creativity and timeliness – along with a healthy dose of professional persistence. If your company isn’t establishing a noticeable media presence, the following checklist can help you identify a missing component – and prevent missed opportunities.

Strategies Drive Coverage

Simply put, a media strategy guides how print, broadcast, and online coverage is earned. If the nature of your business does not naturally offer timely newsworthy opportunities a constant release of thought leadership contributions and weigh-in on high-profile industry issues can build a media presence. Activating media as part of a community relations program can also achieve higher visibility – and even drive consumer participation. Proactively including media strategies in strategic planning is crucial to reputation management during potential crisis scenarios – from a product recall to a service outage.

Measurement Makes it Meaningful

Some business-to-business companies may need to establish a presence within a relatively small – but highly targeted – world of trade journals and blogs. A major consumer brand may find value in cultivating local coverage in some instances and national awareness in others. Defining a set of measurable objectives – from shifting public opinion to driving leads – builds the strategy that achieves them.

Arc Across New Media

It’s true that a well timed, well placed story can be a primary catalyst for influencing an audience. But editors and producers decide when a story will publish or broadcast; how much space or air time it will receive; whether it appears at the top of a broadcast or as an inside magazine spread; and a variety of other factors. To maximize timeliness and visibility, simultaneously utilize social and other media to reach your audiences. Your media strategy can – and should – proactively arc across online and e-media to ensure your audience sees it.

Research to Find Opportunities

Some media cover a broad spectrum of topics while others are much more niche. Before contacting any media, research what topics they cover and in what tone they report. Some media may seem like a natural fit based on titles alone, but digging deeper into their coverage could show time is better spent building relationships with other outlets. Keep an eye out for coverage about your competitors, too – if they’re earning stories, chances are you should be, too. And automate your research – sign up for daily e-newsletters and turn on Google Alerts so competitor coverage, timely opportunities, and potential ideas are delivered straight to your inbox.

Track to Manage Your Reputation

With news breaking 24/7, media stories can happen at any given time. That’s why constant media tracking and monitoring are so important. A negative blog post can spread across social media and turn into a major national story within a few hours. Or a new product announcement may publish two weeks, a month – even three months – after its original submission to an editor. Companies and organizations that are in the media daily or weekly should always stay in tune with their most recent headlines; how they are being publicly positioned; and on the lookout for inaccuracies or trending story lines that could harm their reputations or business performance. Is your team practicing SMART media relations? Contact us to learn more about Duffey’s full-service, award-winning media relations practice that has generated millions of headlines for our clients.


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