Many small and medium enterprises do not really understand how to work with the media to generate buzz and publicity. They often have a misconception that the media publicity is exclusive to big companies having huge budget for public relation specialists providing strategic counsel.
Media relation is both an art and a science. Knowing your basics and adding some creativity and flair will produce an effective pitch. Understanding what constitute news and knowing what the media and press want will give your company a head start in gaining publicity.
Having good publicity about your product and branding will always enhance the public perception on their value. There are basically two types of news. The Hard News which are primarily basic facts and figure. The soft news is news of human interest. The press usually prefer news that are: A Public relation practitioner once told me that if all else fail, there will always be three issues which are of interest to the media. They are MONEY, Sex and HEALTH.
The press and media are powerful stake holders of your business. The press usually likes to develop a story while the media prefer to explore different angles. For example, there is no story if you announce to the press that your company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. However, if your company plan to denote 20 million to charity to celebrate its 20th anniversary, it will be a big story!
How to maintain positive relationship with the media and press?
o Compile a list of journalists and reporter contacts and develop friendship with them. Try to remember their professional interest in their work and seek to be a resource information centre for other contacts. Be truthful about the quality of a story and its sources. Always give reporters special access to you by releasing your personal mobile number. Send them an email once in a while you see their features published.
o The common mistake newsmakers make in dealing with reporter is to insist on a perfect story to advocate your position. The reporters’ job isn’t to protect your reputation or advance your career. Do not expect them to ask you questions to help you to say what you want to say.
o All reporters want to produce a professional story, accepted by their editor and audience with a specific angle. Understanding their job will enable you to build rapport with them and pave the way for media pitching.
o Know your rights with the media will be helpful. Always remember you have the right to be treated with respect. You can refuse to answer any personal questions. You have the right to be quoted accurately. Always repeat your key messages if there is a need to. You have the right to determine when and where you will be interviewed.