Ned Barnett, APR, Marketing & PR Fellow, American Hospital Association
Dealing effectively with the news media always was a core PR skill. For some, this involved three-martini lunches, a golden Rolodex, press releases, press conferences and lots of real and virtual shoe leather.
As we know, three-martini lunches have gone the way of Mad Men and contact-management databases have eclipsed the Rolodex. Many have sung the press release’s death knell for decades. Only shoe leather remains. Successful PR doesn’t happen on its own, but the tools have evolved.
Among the new tools, of course, is social media. Anyone with a newsworthy story can use social media to get it in front of the media, and through traditional media, the public.
Eight Steps for Integration
There are eight steps to leverage social media to generate mainstream media attention. This process has evolved over a decade and will continue to, in pace with social media. Today, these eight steps are: Identify topics; create a breaking news search; prepare (or anticipate) positions; craft a powerful media list; identify fast-response online media outlets that cover those topics and positions; create a blog post; be quick to react; and use good, old-fashioned, media-pitching PR shoe leather, ie, basic reaching out to media.
This eight-step process works because the 24-7 news cycle places demands on the media to find new, credible sources who can put breaking news into perspective for their audiences.
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