If you're already working in the media relations industry, you're no stranger to the head-spinning that comes with how quickly things change, breaking news happens, and trends are created or canceled.
It's exhausting (but also thrilling) to constantly be on your toes, ready to adapt to any change that may affect you.
Being a successful media relations professional can look different for different people. For some, it's coordinating on-air interviews or writing articles and press releases. Other PR pros may enjoy navigating the social media trends and pages.
Whatever your position in media relations, you can do the following four things to amplify your work.
1. Adjust your PR strategy to current trends and news
As mentioned previously, trends are continually coming and going. It's essential to stay up to date on trending topics in the news because you can often use them to your advantage. If you want your brand or client to be a relevant part of the conversation, finding the best angle that connects your client or brand to the latest trend is an easy road to big wins.
For example, if you had a travel-oriented client in August 2021, it would've been wise to have them comment on the Spirit Airlines cancellation fiasco.
What's more, being a part of the conversation can sometimes help you avoid "cancel culture." Brands and companies can suffer boycotts from their followers if those followers don't like the response—or lack of response—to a societal trend.
Consider artist Neil Young, who threatened to take his music off Spotify if something wasn't done to address the claims of misinformation regarding COVID on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. In response, Spotify and Joe Rogan decided to remove problematic episodes.
Many companies have been reprimanded after failing to speak out about something. It's a slippery slope when making those decisions, but it's often better to be safe than sorry.
2. Align your personal and company brands
Media relations is almost entirely an online game these days. You would be hard pressed to find people still using their Rolodex. We drive success through emails, direct messages, follows, and likes. So, to ensure success, it's crucial to have a solid and consistent online presence.
Online profiles are the first places people go to find more information, so as a media relations professional you must be putting your best foot forward on personal and professional pages alike.
The best way to do that is to use consistent messaging. Focus on making your messaging approachable, appropriate, and engaging. Posting content regularly will keep your audience engaged and let them know you're available and consistently checking your pages.
Also, make sure what you're posting correlates with your company's mission and core values. Ignoring mission and core values can land you on the canceled list.
What's more, sharing the same messaging and content across all of your pages can help bring followers from various platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube.
3. Adapt to a hybrid workflow
PR professionals make our success primarily online, and it's the same for your client. In-person, location-based events no longer have to limit a PR strategy. Your client now has opportunities that are worldwide thanks to virtual options, and the pandemic has pretty much set that in stone.
You can set your clients up with interviews over video meetings instead of their being limited by physical location and having to figure out travel logistics. Just have them hop on a call—and boom, you've got a win.
Just as your client can attend virtual events or interviews, you can also host virtual events or interviews. If there's a grand opening or fundraising event, coordinate a virtual meeting so that those out of town or unable to physically be there can still pop in and attend.
Going virtual allows you, as a publicist, to expand your strategy, Zoom invite list, and email list to people from all over. A hybrid work model allows you to take meetings on the go, at home, or in the office. Who says you can't be productive if you're not sitting in a cubicle under fluorescent lighting?
4. Build relationships with journalists
Building relationships is the cornerstone of successful PR, and if you're in media relations, chances are you're pretty good at it. A great way to amplify your media relations is by personalizing your pitches to build those relationships.
It matters how you approach journalists. Like it or not, they are in control of your success. They can pick your story up or choose to remove you from their lists.
Media relations professionals should go the extra mile to read journalists' recent work or support their social media pages and see the difference it makes in establishing a lasting relationship. For example, say, "I read your recent article on X, and thought it was so insightful!" or "I appreciate the hard work you do as a journalist. I hope things have been going well for you." That adds value to the recipient.
Many reporters view mass pitch emails as impersonal and an immediate turn-off. It takes extra time to craft specific pitches, but it'll teach you to be more targeted and direct. Plus, you tend to get the kind of attention you're looking for that way.
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Working in media relations means no day will ever be the same, and that's what's so exciting about it! Just as there's always something changing with the job, it's imperative that you roll with changes and adjust how you work. The tips in this article for amplifying your media relations will help you succeed.
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