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Maintaining Media Relations

  Mar 30, 2012
 

Media relations involves working with the various forms of media to inform the public of the organisation’s mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner. To gain publicity, it is crucial to coordinate with the media directly to maximize on positive coverage.

Understand that the media too is a business and the stories that will gain public interest are more likely to be published. Based on this, it is imperative to cultivate a good relationship between the organisation and the media.

Fostering a positive relationship with the media in order to maximize on one’s publicity can be achieved by identifying a journalist and familiarize yourself with the beat they cover through research. A beat is specialized reporting on a particular issue such as business, court, health etc. Create a media list of the journalists, the beat they cover, the hook of their stories and their target audience.

Provide a local angle to the media through the journalist by informing them of your product or service, how it will impact the market and the interest it will be to the target audience. Consider that the media has many potential pitches and stories to publish therefore ensure that your pitch is catchy. Remember to keep it short and simple as journalists have tight schedules and deadlines.

Maintain the relationship with the journalist and media by continuously reaching out to them when there is a news item of interest.

A press release is a key invitation to a media house that states a newsworthy event with the aim of attracting favorable media attention. A good press release should have a catchy headline that will not only automatically grab the attention but also summarize the event. Due to the media deadlines, summarize the 5 W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why and how) in the body of the press release. Include a background of the organisation and the contact details.

Before you send out the press release, pick the right time to attract media interest. Morning hours are the best to meet journalists as many are busy in the afternoon with deadlines.

Finally, maintain a good reputation of your organisation by always portraying it positively.



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