16 Mar

Need to Nail Media Relations? Read This.

Words from the Wise on Media Relations

By Victoria Knepp, Account Associate

Recently I got to dive headfirst into what we in the marketing communications field call the wonderful world of media relations. Oftentimes media is our bridge to publicizing our client’s product or event to all the local – and sometimes even national – audiences. The 24/7 news cycle that social media creates raises the stakes. Reporters often live tweet events and news stations release breaking news stories on Facebook. Media is evolving, and marketing communications professionals have to evolve with it to stay on top of our game. 

Now I’ve written my share of news releases and recently had the experience of media calls, but I’ve found that media relations isn’t as simple as it sounds and is sometimes rather intimidating. I can’t just call a news station and expect them to sit and listen to my whole press release. They have hundreds of other releases, emails and phone calls bombarding them with news, 24/7.
So how do you conquer this intimidating feat? Read some words from the Rasor Marketing Communications wise, seasoned media relations master: Miss Betty Hull herself.

“It’s all about who and what you know… Understanding your client and their message and tailoring that to whatever audience you’re targeting is essential to making a successful pitch. Constantly cultivating relationships with reporters, bloggers, editors or whoever it is that you’re trusting to carry out your message to your audience is a central part of the work we do. If you aren’t willing to take the time to try to walk in a reporter’s shoes and understand the pressure they’re under and what they think is news, then conversely don’t expect them to understand why the story you’re pitching to them should be printed.” – Betty Hull, Rasor Marketing Communications Public Affairs Consultant

Does it feel a little less intimidating yet? Remember, reporters, like all of us in the communications industry, are driven by a good story and a good relationship. When building your credibility and consistency as a news source, media relations buff extraordinaire Kaity Dunn says it best.

“For me, the phone has been the most valuable tool in building relationships with reporters – it’s the best way to hone in on what kind of story the reporter is looking for. I’ve also found that engaging with reporters on Twitter helps reinforce the relationship and it reminds them that you’re interested in what they’re writing.” –Kaity Dunn, Rasor Marketing Communications Account Executive

Media relations can be tough but, I’m lucky to be learning from some of the wisest players in the media relations game here at Rasor Marketing Communications, so I’ll end on one last word from the wise, “When working in media relations, three things are key: patience, persistence and perseverance.” – Me