Breaking News: Eden PR’s top tips for media relations
20th December 2018
Media Relations – the art of pitching stories to the media – is at the core of our work as a PR agency. Our team has years of experience across a wide array of clients and sectors and we’re all working towards the same end goal – to deliver positive media coverage which is aligned with our client’s business strategy.
With so many businesses utilising PR programmes to raise awareness of their brands, penetrating what can be a highly saturated market is a real challenge. This, combined with the reduction in print publications and staff numbers, means more than ever before we are competing for space. So, the question is – how can we gain cut through above the rest?
Here, we give you our top five tips of how to run a successful media relations programme:
No.1: Plan ahead
Planning ahead is vital in the PR industry. By reviewing the media agenda in advance, we can adapt our story angles and prepare our content, sharing it with journalists when the time is right, giving us the best chance of our story landing.
With monthly media titles working 3-6 months in advance, we work to tight media deadlines. To aid preparation, requesting forward features lists (a list of upcoming feature content) from key media publications and creating a calendar of upcoming activity is essential.
No.2: Know your media
Relationship is key – picking up the phone to our target media and building those relationships is at the heart of what we do. Each publication and journalist will have its own style, tone, content requirements etc. and we need to know exactly what these are to enable us to deliver what they need, when they need it.
The media industry is incredibly fast paced – even more so with the use of social media increasing – so being able to respond to a journalist request or proactively sell in a comment for a breaking news story in a timely fashion is crucial.
No.3: Create clever content
There are hundreds of brands competing with each other for space. To cut through it, our ideas and content has to stand out above the rest. We offer our clients/ media a variety of content formats – from thought leadership pieces to news stories and social media posts – all with engaging photography to make sure we get noticed.
A good photo can sell a story so we always encourage our clients to invest in strong photography and look at ways in which we can utilise imagery across all platforms – PR and social.
No.4: Know your (clients’) audience
Taking a targeted approach ensures we deliver against our client’s objectives. We can easily create a story and issue it to media, but is it going to make a difference? Is it going to have the required impact to actually deliver against what our client needs, whether that is to attract new businesses, increase profits, or improve brand awareness?
To ensure we deliver, we always think ahead, reviewing who we need to target in relation to our clients’ objectives and how we can reach them. For example, if we are running a B2B campaign we are targeting a different audience compared to if we are running a consumer-focused campaign – both of which we can deliver here at Eden.
Once we know our target base, we create a tailored media relations programme including content, copy and imagery which is relevant to that specific audience.
No.5: Look to the future
Eden is always looking ahead at ways in which we can adapt and stay ahead of the changing media landscape. Creating a cut through media relations programme can be a tough job – we need to please the client, the target audience and the target media.
We need to be aware of changes within the industry – the decline in both print publications and staff numbers means good relationships are becoming even more important. The way in which we deliver campaigns is also changing. We’re now looking more at SEO and utilising digital platforms over print – a recent example is our work with vlogger Kerry Whelpdale on gifting brand, Vanilla Reindeer.
As ever, we will continue to create media relations campaigns which break the boundaries of PR and deliver the impact we need for our clients.