Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Media Strategy Toolkit

The media continues to be the gatekeeper for the coverage PR pros and clients desire, and creating pitches, releases and other content that is attention-grabbing and newsworthy will be continue to be vital for the public relations industry. For PR veterans, media relations will likely continue to hold an important place in their media strategy. However, for newcomers to PR, the practice of traditional media relations may seem outdated but they soon may discover its value, despite the influx of digital media. Producing newsworthy content and maintaining relationships with the media are both integral parts of media strategies, and when done well, can produce valuable, effective and desired placements.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at different aspects of media strategy. How to get better media coverage, lessons to take from sensationalized stories, writing tips for media materials, and a case for the importance of media relations are all covered in this week’s post. We also look at how to incorporate Pinterest into your media outreach strategy.

5 must-hear tips for securing better media coverage (PR Daily)

Share of voice in the media is a major objective for public relations professionals. To receive adequate media coverage, the article offers five areas to practice that will likely lead to desired results. Each tip circles back to one main idea: your relationship with reporters matters. Tips Friday Five Logoinclude “make reporters care about your pitch” and “be easy to work with…minimize the back and forth.”

One tip that may seem outdated to new pros but is still vital is the importance of calling reporters versus always contacting them via email. “Writing a strong subject line will help grab the reporter’s attention, but in my experience, nothing works as well as a quick phone call. During that call, you can also address any questions or hesitancies that the reporter might have about covering your story,” the author states. Visit the article for more recommendations.

4 Ways to Channel Your Inner Bao Bao for Your Media Strategy (PR News)

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo recently welcomed a 5-month-old panda, Bao Bao. Bao Bao’s arrival was also accompanied by the frenzied media attention surrounding the panda. While sensationalized news events don’t happen frequently, there are different takeaways that can be learned from the situation and applied to standard media strategies.

To generate its desired media reach, the Smithsonian “developed a multifaceted media strategy to promote Bao Bao and ultimately drive up attendance for the zoo and recognition for its brand,” said Richard Brownell, the author of the article. Tips that can be applied to your brand from Bao Bao’s media strategy include:

  • Promote your story with a unique hook and keep your audience updated
  • Get buy-in from your audience

Read the full list of tips via the article.

How To Turbocharge Your Writing For Public Relations (Forbes)

Good content with succinct writing is vital for your media strategies. From press releases to pitches and editorials, public relations pros are responsible for creating content that is media worthy. To help give your writing the edge that it may need to resonate with the media, and to give you a better chance to secure coverage, the article offers writing tips for specific publications.

One tactic highlighted in the article is the pitch. The three most critical questions you must know the answer to before crafting a pitch letter include:

  • What’s the story?
  • Why is this important?
  • Why now?

For more about press releases and for additional writing recommendations, visit the article.

On the Current State of Old-School Media Relations (PR Newser)

With the prevalence of digital media, we have witnessed many claims that traditional media is dying, and media relations is going with it. This article highlights a case made for media relations by Peter Himler and the important place it still holds within public relations strategy. In a post for PRSA’s #PRin2014 series, Himler explains the “value clients place on ‘placements’ in great publications” as well as the value of maintaining solid relationships with the media.

Because placements are valuable, “a familiarity with and an ability to relate to prominent journalists will remain one of the most valuable skills on anyone’s resume for the foreseeable future, no matter how many major magazines and newspapers close their doors or how many blogs struggle to find significant revenue streams,” Himler states. Visit the article to learn more about the continued importance of media relations.

Using Pinterest & Secret Pinboards For Media Pitching (Business2Community)

In an effort to create creative, standout pitches, the public relations community has access to a variety of visual and social tools – including Pinterest. Pitching through Pinterest is a unique idea that encourages the use of budget-friendly visuals and videos. This article offers suggestions for successful Pinterest pitching, including “create a public ‘speaker roll’ pinboard that includes broadcast clips (both television and radio) and public speaking footage” and “put your b-roll and other video footage in a secret pinboard.”

Public pinboards can be used to showcase videos of speakers or headshots. When presented with a written pitch, pinboards offering samples of speakers and their ability are a great tool to “support your claim of on-air expertise” and to “help your pitch stand out among others.” For details about the dos and don’ts of public boards and to learn about private boards, visit the article.

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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