5 ways to improve your media relationships in 2014
It’s a new year, full of new brand goals and expectations. Maybe one of your aspirations this year includes generating more meaningful media coverage for your brand. You’re tired of reading news articles chock full of references to your competitors, and you want to change that by weighing in about all of the trends and insights your brand is leading. How can you make that happen?
We’ve listed five ways you can improve your media relationships – and ultimately increase your opportunities for earned media coverage in 2014.
1. Be a go-getter: It’s true the early bird gets the worm when it comes to media coverage. Journalists are over-worked and under-paid, and are usually operating on an incredibly tight deadline to turn a story out to their readers or viewers. When a journalist calls, make yourself available immediately. If you need to pause to gather facts and figures, ask the journalist when you can call them back. Being available at a moment’s notice to media is one way to endear yourself to them as a trusted resource.
2. Be ready: When it’s time for your interview to happen, be ready. Have your industry’s trends and forecasts at your fingertips. Develop your own take on what’s happening within your business. If you don’t have these sound bites prepared already — that’s something you and your PR team should be actively working on.
3. Be human: Journalists (and your audience) hate “canned” answers to interview questions. Instead of sounding like a robot regurgitating your company’s legal mumbo-jumbo, answer like a human. In other words, be yourself. If you’re scared about divulging proprietary information to the masses – again, this is something you and your PR team should be working to sort through now, so you’re ready when that interview opportunity strikes. You should absolutely take your brand’s key messages and put them in your own words so they’re real and authentic, not just some manufactured response from a press representative.
4. Be charismatic: Have you ever noticed the best interviews on television are with people who exude charisma?? These are people that SMILE at the person interviewing them, have a little fun, break down complicated jargon into easy-to-understand terms and provide information no one’s heard before. Some people are born with charisma – but others of us have to learn it as we go. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, hire a media training company to help you. They’ll put you in mock interview situations and pepper you with questions until you can field even the toughest of curve balls with ease.
5. Be responsive: After your interview, be responsive when a journalist follows up with you for questions, or to clarify a point. Remember, they’re trying to tell the most compelling, truthful story they can – it’s in your best interest to make sure the facts are correct. So while you might receive 500 emails a day – make sure to spot the one coming in from your media contact (or you PR representative fielding the request for you) and make it a priority to respond. Don’t miss out on a golden PR opportunity just because you ignored an email.
By making yourself available, resourceful and responsive to your target media and blogger contacts, you’ll find yourself participating in more interviews than ever before. Remember, the brands that play ball with the media and provide them with the information they need, when they need it, are the ones that win the game when it comes to earning more meaningful media coverage.