A significant part of the digital public relations profession includes working with the media. Digital PR seeks to gather publicity that benefits a client. Therefore, learning the best way to develop as well as manage relationships with reporters and editors is essential to your outreach strategy.
What is media relations?
The terms ‘media relations’ refers to the mutually beneficial relationship between journalists and digital PR professionals. One of the biggest benefits of these interactions, for journalists, is:
- The easy access to story ideas, as well as
- Convenient access to sources.
Reporters devote a significant amount of time in addition to effort assembling information to write a story. Working with digital PR professionals cuts down on the time required to search for sources and other information in order to validate an article’s content.
Public relations professionals benefit from media relations as it secures free publicity in addition to promotion for a client. Through the process of using media as a promotional tool, they are able to reach a large audience without high costs.
Ethics that digital PR professionals need to keep in mind with media relations
In the day and age of the multitude of fake news, it’s difficult for reporters to know who to trust as well as where to source reliable data. If an organisation should be noted in an article may be a challenging ethical decision for a journalist. Questions which will be going through their minds are:
- Is this resource an expert?
- Can a vendor be an impartial source as well as an expert?
Paying for placements without revealing that money has changed hands is never grey. When a brand or PR agency pays a writer for placement needs to be disclosed. That is not media relations – it’s paid advertising. In a similar fashion, when a brand pays an influencer that too must be clearly disclosed.
The Value of Media Relationships
PR is not merely about the number of clips you can acquire for a brand. Yes, we would like to see that the brand mentioned favourably in print, however that’s an outcome or consequence of our “real” job. Our real job is to build brands as well as reputations – for the organisation at large or its executives, thought leaders in addition to customers.
Part of this brand or reputation-building derives from our being gurus of media relations. Putting together a strong relationship with a reporter happens over time – after having connected him/her to credible experts, opinions or data they need to write powerful stories. By providing reporters with valuable information, we start to gain their trust and build a relationship.
How to pitch your story
Organising media relations in the digital age offers a paradox. The profusion of blogs, email, and social media has made it simpler to be seen however more difficult to be noticed:
- If you wanted like to obtain press coverage for your company 20 years ago, you would give a press release or media kit to a journalist, maybe through a PR agency.
- Today, contacting journalists is simple. It is possible for you to reach out to them over Twitter, email, or leave remarks on their articles.
All this is apparently great news for companies who want to get their name out there however the new world is not short of its challenges. You’re not the only company out there attempting to leverage digital communication as well as social media in order to get noticed. Journalists get hundreds of email pitches every single day. This means that you need to develop strategies to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Journalists are extremely busy people
You need to offer them a reason to open as well as respond to your email. Journalists are curious about stories. They’re not interested in marketing your business just for the sake of it. Creative presentation is more likely to attract attention as opposed to traditional press releases.
Relevance is key
Pitching to the correct journalist is just as important as getting your pitch to stand out. Social media presents novel opportunities for contacting journalists on a personal level.
Want to learn more about digital PR? If you do then you should check out our Digital Public Relations Course. For more information, please follow this link.