Why and how you should keep working on media relations – Info PR

Is there still value in cultivating ?

Given the rise of social media and digital marketing—combined with the demise of newspapers, massive staff cuts at traditional media outlets and the repeated bashing of journalism—some have proclaimed the “death of media relations.”

Not so, savvy PR veterans say, asserting instead that media relations has evolved.

“Media relations is not dead; on the contrary, it is essential to the success of programs,” says Kate Finley, founder of Belle Communications. Media relations can increase awareness, help increase sales and promote key messages, she says.

“It’s also just plain sexy,” Finley adds. “Clients still love seeing their name in local, trade and national media outlets—especially when they receive feedback from their network as a result.”

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The stigma of “fake news” might persist in muddying the waters of the popular consciousness, but sophisticated audiences will depend on reliable sources, heightening their value in a sea of misinformation, says Jade Faugno, vice president at Intermarket Communications.

“It’s up to us as PR professionals to use all the tools in our arsenal to reach intended constituencies through trustworthy news sources,” Faugno writes in Forbes.

Most PR pros believe media relations can breed success, if PR can adapt to changes, according to the results of a recent survey.

More than one-quarter (27 percent) say their media relations tactics and strategies have remained mostly the same, 58 percent have altered their approach “somewhat,” and 16 percent say they have significantly altered their overall approach. The figures suggest PR has room for improvement.

Shunning modern tactics

Most PR pros don’t take advantage of the new avenues for media pitching, asserts communications trainer Michael Smart. Most follow established practices, mainly sending news releases to a long list of contacts. The only recent innovation is that email replaced blast-fax software.

Effective PR, Smart says, entails researching a narrowly targeted set of influencers, using social media and other platforms to win attention well before requesting media coverage, and customizing pitches to each recipient.

PR pros can also advance media relations through these channels:

  • Influencers. Large numbers of website editors, bloggers and other online influencers have supplanted diminishing numbers of traditional journalists to some extent. Savvy PR professionals turn to their relationship-building skills to develop connections with bloggers and other influencers, as well as with journalists.
  • Social media networking. Though email remains journalists’ favorite communications channel, many engage with PR pros on social media, most notably via Twitter. Some journalists answer messages on Twitter faster than through other communications and online platforms. PR professionals can gain valuable insights into what journalists are working on by following their Twitter feeds.
  • Owned media. PR relies more on owned media such as blogs and online corporate newsrooms. Rather than just posting press releases, the best media centers employ brand journalism to create content that’s more like objective reporting than corporate marketing jargon. Besides reaching the public directly, digital pressrooms offer an excellent media relations tool, as reporters often visit the sites to research articles.
  • PR measurement. Brand awareness was traditionally difficult to measure. However, measuring media relations benefits is now easier due to advancements in PR measurement tools and dashboards that can integrate data from social media and other communications channels. PR measurement is essential for proving PR’s value to corporate management and PR agency clients. “As traditional media dwindle and the lines between marketing disciplines continue to converge, it is crucial to position PR as a revenue driver, not a cost center,” writes Amy Laski, president of Felicity.

A version of this post first appeared on the Glean.info blog.

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Article Prepared by Ollala Corp

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