Building media relations: Earning your share of coverage
In general, media relations in the German-speaking markets are about trust. Perceiving themselves as guardians of consumer interests, journalists need to feel comfortable with you and your story. In this sense, journalists are like customers.
Some will like your offer right away. Others (and unfortunately that means most) will need to be convinced that you and your brand are worth reporting.
Remember, journalists receive a ton of press releases and other information pieces every day, and every company is asking them to report on them.
To build relations, you need to feed journalists with information that is relevant to them. Not jut once, but all the time. And don’t expect them to report on it, even if some will.
Because what you are doing is establishing ties between journalists and your brand. Even if they won’t report (yet): they will acknowledge the progress you’re making.
And at some point, journalists will ask you for in-depth information when you trigger them with info pieces. That’s when you know they trust you. And that’s when you can start a purposeful relationship.
+ media relations strategy
+ messaging document
+ press kit
+ media event
+ release distribution
+ media monitoring
+ story development
How to build productive media relations.
1 Awareness or influential reports?
There are two main elements of media relations.
A) Mass publication of press release content to generate awareness.
B) The generation of influential reports published by leading media.
The former is about convincing journalists in the instant they receive your information, the latter is achieved by developing trust between journalists and your company.
2 Relevance, trust, and cooperation
Building media relations is about building trust and relevance with journalists. That means providing news and stories they can use. Again and again.
It’s about starting a narrative and keeping the flow.
Measuring the success of media relations is not as easy as with digital marketing. But one thing’s for sure: trust-building online articles in your target group’s most favored media are priceless.
3 Focusing on the journalist
Media relations focus on the multiplier, the journalist, who receives the story and decides whether or not to report on it.
Always remember: journalists are your customers and they can decide for or against your stories. To deliver the gains, you need to understand their pains.
4 Acknowledging the pains
In the pitching process, journalists are gatekeepers. Due to their task of informing the public, they publish what they feel is interesting to their readers.
Your task is to anticipate media interest to be able to put your messages in the context that media like. And that involves research and experience.
5 Delivering the gains
Journalists want news. In addition to fact-based press releases, there are various methods for delivering interesting news to journalists.
You can create a favorable setting for presenting the information. Offering CEO interviews is helpful, as is organizing media events, such as press conferences, familiarization tours, and workshops with senior management.
Five key success factors of media relations:
Don't lie to journalists or promise what you can't deliver.
Define the right media
Address media that are really interested in the topic
Check media reports to identify opportunities
From person to person
Talk to journalists and ask them for their favorite topics
Deliver your information in the style they like