Media relations can be a real challenge for your brand when there is no real news to offer—no new product or service, no upgrade, no high-profile hire, no acquisition, no new financials to report. You're a professional, though, and you know how to rise to the challenge of a slow news cycle and get steady media coverage for your brand throughout the year.
But if your go-to media relations tactics have been failing you lately, you might find these four tips, courtesy of Lydia Howard, account director for Vantage Communications, handy:
- Create an outreach spreadsheet for your team. Everyone knows that PR professionals should be interacting with key media and analysts on all the different mediums such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But following through on this when you’ve got other, more pressing items, is a different story. And if you manage a team, you’re responsible for that interaction and for making sure everyone else is doing it, too. Instead of simply hoping it’s getting done and waiting for potential results, PR professionals should be strategic about this outreach.
- Make current news relevant to your brand. Sometimes you have to dig a little bit to find your brand's story within a hot news story. You can capitalize on current events to make a great story that establishes your brand’s value to a mainstream audience—you just have to do it often to know what works and what doesn't.
- Suggest topics or trends to journalists without putting an emphasis on your brand. Once you’ve established a relationship with an editor, try suggesting a topic that you think he or she would be interested in writing about. Or share some insight on an upcoming trend that they might not have spotted, and see if they would be interested in writing about it. These topics shouldn’t focus on your brand's products or services, but instead be about something general within an industry.
- Ask analysts what trends they envision in the next six months. This is also somewhat dependent on having a good relationship with analysts since they charge for this information—they’re paid to know what the trends are. But if you know an analyst well and feel that you can contribute to a discussion as well, feel free to ask if he or she is seeing a particular trend over others.
This article is adapted from PR News' Digital PR Guidebook, Vol. 5, which offers how-to's in media & influencer relations, measurement, crisis management, SEO, social media and more.
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI