Media Relations: Back to Basics

April 18th was Newspaper Columnists day, which got us thinking about the media. Which of course, led us to media relations. More specifically, it got us thinking about the changing media relations landscape in today’s public relations industry.  

The rise of new technologies and the changing face of newsrooms means that the world of media has evolved. But while the media landscape may be different, the best practices for media relations stay the same. Here’s our top five golden rules for successful media relations:

1. First and foremost, media relations is all about relationship. It’s not about sending off one pitch after the next to try and secure a story. Rather, it’s about proactively focusing on fostering an ongoing relationship. Build a working, two-way relationship. Ask what you can do for them rather than focusing on what they can do for you.

2. Be a valuable resource. After all, if you’re just trying to get coverage and you’re not investing in a relationship with them, why should they be willing to invest in you- and most importantly, your client?

3. Respond quickly. With newsrooms shrinking their staffs, journalists are busier than ever. Be respectful of deadlines and concise in your communications. The faster you can respond to media requests or the faster you can get them useful information, the greater the likelihood they will use it.

4. Do your homework. If you don’t have a relationship with a journalist or reporter, it’s a good idea to read up on who you are pitching, and when you reach out, to reference their past work.

5. Follow up. Often times, your pitch, press release, or story idea will go unanswered. The key to success is often in the follow up. Perhaps a reporter was too busy on deadline, was out of the office, or your story simply just fell through the cracks. Don’t be afraid to send a follow up email, and even a follow up phone call if you know your story is worth covering. More often than not, they’ll be grateful for a friendly reminder.

At Oster and Associates, we’ve had over 28 years of experience in working with the media, so we know a bit about the best ways to navigate the media landscape and garner coverage…and all with phenomenal results! Drop us a line to see what we can do for you!

– Brianna

Skip to content