Whatever your PR objectives are, you can’t meet them without good media relations. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of media relations to achieve those objectives:
• Provide good sources: Having a knowledgeable subject matter expert is not enough. For someone to be a good media source, for both the journalist and for you, that person needs to have media training. Even if they have a natural aptitude, training will make them better. And keep them out of trouble. The person who will speak with a reporter should have a set of message points prior to every interview and an understanding of how to deliver them. Knowing what the important points are is a good way to “score” the quality of a clip. A PR person should be in on the interview, and provide feedback to the spokesperson immediately afterward. That will reinforce training and continue to foster improvement;
• Provide good content: Press releases are fine, but they don’t do much for media relations. It’s better to bring story ideas tailored to media contacts. When coming up with potential ideas or angles, think like a reporter: What really makes a good story? Not many reporters are going to be interested in the “my product is great” angle. It takes some creativity, and some looking at it from their point of view, to come up with winners;
• Understand preferences: To build good relationships you need to know how reporters prefer to communicate. Some like to chat on the phone or meet face-to-face, others like e-mail or Twitter; and,
• Keep your eye on the prize: Don’t wait until the end of the year to start thinking about whether you have reached your PR objectives. Do some interim measures and use them to tweak your approach to media relations to achieve maximum results for the year.
This was excerpted from the upcoming PR News Measurement Guidebook, Volume. It was written by Patricia Thorp, president and founder of Thorp & Company. To find out how to order the guidebook, look for updates on www.prnewsonline.com/store.