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3 ways to get superior media relations
2016-05-06

We’re overrun with blogs. We have too few print publications. Everybody (organizations included) is a journalist or a content channel. Remember when a hit in The New York Times or a win in BusinessWeek or a well-placed piece in a top trade magazine made the phone ring? Now the coverage that jingles your cell phone is likely a crisis; your lawyer is calling to renew her retainer.

But I digress.

There are too many media platforms, too many channels and too many amateur journalists for media coverage alone to make an effect. And that ringing phone—is it a legitimate business lead? I doubt it.

That bylined article this morning on Forbes.com? It’s already old. The Q&A that ran in CIO? The technology used by the page editor will soon be obsolete. The Q&A already is. The explainer you just posted to Slideshare? Tomorrow, someone will explain it anew and bump you to page three.

Like much personal technology, media coverage comes with built-in instant obsolescence. Exaggeration or not, we’re in a huge hurry to imagine the next headline, the next content, the next graphic or visual. Our jobs have never been more challenging—or more full of opportunity.

The landscape is complicated and cluttered. It’s on you to clean up this mess. Here’s how:

    Decide which media platforms matter: Focus on those your customers read. Ignore the rest.

    Concentrate on the sort of coverage your customers like: broadcast, print, blogs. Your aim is to separate the wheat from the chaff: There is no “B” or “C” coverage, only “A.”

    Double down on relationships with a tight set of key media. If you don’t, you’ll have superficial relationships with many contacts who won’t remember you.

Most critically, prepare a multi-faceted, multi-channel plan to exploit the coverage you get. Don’t resign yourself to the ephemerality of the oversaturated media market. If you follow steps 1, 2 and 3, you’ll have wins worth celebrating on social platforms, e-newsletters, and your website.

RELATED: Win hearts and minds in your community and within your organization.

Take steps to de-clutter your media landscape now. You’ll free up time and resources for what matters, for results that mean something. The best media coverage comes from a rifle, not a shotgun.

Ned Ward is the vice president at Stern Strategy Group .

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Vivian Li

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