Whether or not media outreach is a significant part of your organization’s marketing communications strategy, it can be a good idea to keep an updated media list in house.
When it comes to media contacts, quality trumps quantity every time. Rather than distributing an announcement far and wide, send to the right contact at the publications you yourself read. The best way to make sure your announcement hits the right publications is to keep a list of your favorite outlets and journalists. Be strategic about where your news release is sent. Think of it as making a sales pitch. Would you cold call a potential customer without doing your homework?
“Relations” is the operative word in media relations. The more authentic and personalized your contacts, the better.
Choose a few of your favorite journalists and send a personal note about why you think they might be interested in your release. Personal touches will help build relationships.
Media relations is more than sending press releases. You might want to pitch a particular journalist a soft piece or profile. It’s helpful to have notes on past engagements with a reporter or publication.
Worst-case scenario. If you find yourself in the midst of a crisis, it’s best to have already laid the groundwork with journalists who are personally familiar with you and your brand. In a crunch, you’ll be happy to have a list available at your fingertips.
Lauren Yates is a Principal and Co-founder of ThinkWell Consulting, LLC. Lauren is fascinated with the ever-changing nature of marketing and how the internet has empowered businesses and individuals to communicate directly with their audiences. Way back in grad school she wrote a paper on how “weblogs” would democratize journalism — that project is unavailable somewhere on a floppy disc. Here, she writes about consulting, entrepreneurship, and digital marketing.