I never know how to respond when someone wishes me good luck on “getting that big hit,” because media relations success takes much more than a four-leaf clover.
In today’s rapidly changing media environment, securing placements has more to do with having a solid media relations strategy than with good fortune.
Lucky for you, here are three things that top media relations pros do to land coverage:
1. Pitch at the top o’ the morning. In media relations, timing is everything. There’s no substitute for getting an early start to make sure you’re in front of a story.
Journalists typically begin working on their stories first thing in the morning. Use your afternoon hours for developing strategy and drafting story angles so that you’re ready to hit the ground running the next morning.
This is especially important if you’re trying to tie in to the day’s news, making your expert part of the national conversation. Remember, you’ll be competing with other brands for coverage. The first to respond often wins the placement.
2. Kiss me, I’m Irish. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone has a bit of the Irish magic, regardless of nationality. Great media relations professionals know how to “become” journalists to help them get their job done.
To make this transition, try approaching news decision makers as a fellow storyteller, and not the recipient of your press release. Craft the actual story for them instead of sending a release or a pitch.
Then, consistently prove that you understand their needs and challenges. This helps build the relationship. Your contacts will soon view you as a valuable source of content rather than simply another PR contact.
3. Don’t chase every rainbow . We all want the media coverage pot o’ gold at the end of every rainbow. However, chasing all opportunities may mean that we miss the best one.
Blasting out every story to all your media contacts is the wrong approach to media relations. Instead, customize your story angle and elements to match the needs of each journalist. This may take more time up front, but will result in better media coverage in the long run.
It’s time to put down that four-leaf clover. If you follow these tips, you’ll set yourself up for golden media relations success—no luck required.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect with her Twitter @LisaArledge.