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Distractions. We've all probably suffered from some of them. Journalists are no different. Because of this, working on public relations (PR) endeavors like media relations can be harder than ever right now.
When thinking about how to get a reporter's attention, there may be elements to focus on beforehand You reach out to lay the foundation for greater success when you are ready. Let's take a closer look at what we can do now to prepare our PR efforts for success.
Eight Ways To Prepare For Success In Public Relations
1. Update your website
If you want to make changes or updates to your website, do so In front to reach all reporters. Why? Because one of the first things a reporter can do when reading your pitch is visit your website. You want it to look its best. So if something is out of date, do whatever you can to update it.
2. Build relationships
This topic has come up a lot when clients are trying to understand what they can do differently to stand out from reporters. If you start building relationships now, long before you “need” this reporter, they may become more receptive to your client's story when you eventually pitch them.
Start with a list of journalists and publications that you might want to reach out to. Follow them on social media, interact with them, and share their content to stay on their radar.
Related: 3 Strategies To Land Big Press If You're Not A Purple Cow
3. Get active on social media
Are you active on social media? Make sure that a) you have social media accounts on at least one or two platforms that the reporters you want to cover spend time on (Twitter is usually one) and b) you post regularly on those platforms – and to become involved.
That doesn't mean you have to have an active social media account on every platform. Do that and you might get overwhelmed and stop altogether.
4. Create a press page
Do you have a press or newsroom page while looking at your website? This page is dedicated to your press materials. If you have a digital press kit, this is where it belongs. If you have press releases, they should be there. If there are messages in which you were mentioned, you can link to them too.
5. Gather your allies
Reporters often want to speak to a third party who can speak about the benefits of using your product or service. It's good to be prepared with a customer testimonial or maybe a partner or other outside influencer (or two – or three) who can talk about your business and the benefits of your offering.
Of course, you'll want to choose a reference that has positive things to say. If you need to convince the reference to speak to a reporter, remind him or her that this may also be good PR for their business.
Related: Secrets Behind The Most Successful PR Campaigns
6. Consider the visual elements
Visual elements such as photos and videos are becoming increasingly important in all media today. They help bring the story to life and attract more readers.
Another point to consider is that some media outlets don't have the budget to send a photographer to take pictures for every story they publish. When creating a picture library, don't forget to add executive logos and headshots. Go a step further and add subtitles for your images.
Post them on your website in your press area (see above). This makes it even easier for reporters to grab them when needed.
7. Organize your statistics
Reporters love a good survey or study. If you don't have the budget to do your own research, it is perfectly acceptable to quote that from someone else.
For example, if you have a bedding product but can't run your own research, check out the latest study from the National Sleep Foundation to see if there are statistics to include. Just indicate where it's due by including a link to the study.
8. Prepare background materials
If you have a company overview, a factsheet, a backgrounder or an executive bios, always make this available as well. Post them in your press area (see above). This makes it easy for journalists to reach out to you when they have a basic question.
Remember, it's better to be prepared and not needing anything than to be asked and keep a reporter waiting while you spend time putting it all together.
Related: 6 Tips for Achieving Critical Media Coverage for Your Business
Get ready for your next PR initiative
These are the basics that you should have on hand anytime you need to contact a journalist. It's always a good idea every time you come up with a story idea to think about what a reporter might need in order for you to be ready to go ahead with it when you get a "yes" to your pitch. Journalists are busy people – don't keep them waiting or they may move on to the next potential source on their list.
Working on these elements ahead of time will help you prepare for a media program – whenever you decide to start it.