Three Tactics for Better Media Coverage

September 18, 2014

Ever wonder why companies like Apple put so much effort into Lead Nurturing - Prospect, Client or Customermanaging press coverage and staging elaborate product launches?

The reason is that successful tech companies understand that the media are key influencers.  If your public relations program is still limited to issuing press releases, then you are missing a valuable opportunity to convert leads to sales.

Here’s why.

  • The media are perceived to be “independent.”  The opinion of an editor, journalist, or a tech blogger, is assumed to be more objective than direct advertising, other publicity or your company’s marketing communication.
  • An endorsement by a reputable journalist in a mainstream, business or, trade publication adds a crucial ingredient to all your communications: credibility.

In today’s always on world expecting a journalist to write a positive review based only on a press release is not enough. It is increasingly important to build a rapport with the media who serve your market.  Media relations, as the name implies, involves building relationships and maintaining ongoing contact with the media.

1. Build a Media List

Typically, the first step in media relations is to develop what is known as a media list.  This list should include relevant trade and business magazines, websites, blogs, newspapers, broadcast media and industry analysts covering your market and the key editorial contacts at each.  Make sure that the publications on your list reach the target audience your want to influence. Armed with an up-to-date list you will be able to:

  • Accurately target your news; and,
  • Prepare tailored pitches relating to news releases, or other content for placement.

Targeting and tailoring your media outreach is the key to success. Remember that a business reporter and a tech reporter at the same publication will view your story from different angles.  A generic e-mail sent to the whole list won’t get you much coverage. Plan to contact individuals on the list only when you have relevant information to share.  Which brings us to tactic number 2!

2. Think Like A Journalist

Journalists are always on the lookout for a good story. Clearly, the definition of what constitutes a good story varies from publication to publication.  For this reason, it is important to recall the interests of the audience a journalist is writing for.  Read what the most influential journalists in your industry write. Get to know each journalist’s “beat” and their deadlines.  You may not be ready to unveil the next big thing but you may be able to offer an opinion piece, a case study or, comment on emerging trends, breaking news, or an industry controversy.

3. Build a Relationship with the Media

Good communication is a two-way street. Yet, many executives at tech companies and start-ups are wary of un-solicited media requests.  Build a positive reputation by responding promptly to all media inquiries.  Invest time in building an ongoing relationship with the media.  But first, define your what you want to achieve.  Is your story seeking to:

  • Inspire?
  • Inform?
  • Persuade?

Then develop clear, concise, and customized messages and ensure that your key executives are trained on how to deliver, defend and support them.

Remember the three key benefits:

Positive media coverage has an immediate, enduring and, measurable impact on buying decisions.

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