One of the most important jobs of a PR professional is securing placements in the media, but what do you do when a client doesn’t have groundbreaking product announcements or exciting customer wins? A smart PR practitioner knows that you don’t just passively wait around for hard news to fall in your lap. You take an inventive approach to media relations.
Struggling to keep a business in the press? Get started with these proven tips.
Join the conversation.
Increase brand awareness and drive credibility by inserting your company into larger industry conversations. When a reporter is working on a news story, they usually like to include third party commentary for perspective and authority. By staying on top of the news in your business’s space, you can pitch your executives as subject matter experts to reporters. In doing so, you can make the writer’s life a little easier and also land your organization's name in an article on a topic that directly relates to it.
Be sure to closely monitor newsletters such as ProfNet
and Help a Reporter Out
, which are great services that match up journalists with sources, and act quickly on postings relevant to your business.
Show some personality.
Executive profiles are a great way to secure major feature articles without news. Start by doing some digging on what makes your company’s top executives unique. Interesting childhoods, cool hobbies, and unorthodox leadership approaches are all great hooks. Often, the founder of the organization will have a great story about what led her or him to create their business. Use that when possible. There are lots of reporters in business press and local publications who regularly profile executives, so do some research and pitch accordingly.
Get back to the basics.
Some of the most successful media placements are not the result of pitching a press release, but instead uncovering a natural match between a business and the press. Take the time to find that perfect reporter who should definitely know about your company, write them a genuine note explaining why you think they’ll care, and offer them an introductory briefing. Coverage won’t be guaranteed, but this can be a great way to forge important relationships so that the reporter may think of your business when working on a story down the line.
Being both creative and tenacious in your approach to media relations can lead to impressive results.
These are just a couple of ideas to help your client/organization maintain visibility when there’s no hard news. What other methods have you had success with?
Emilie Gerber is a senior account executive at Blanc & Otus, a San Francisco-based communications company that specializes in the technology sector.