There’s been a lot written and discussed about ways PR pros can be successful at media relations – and I’m just going to add to it. Personally, I think there is so much information about the topic out there for two reasons:
- There is not a single winning recipe that works 100% of the time
- The “media relations process” keeps changing and evolving as we continue to consume information in different mediums
So what’s a PR pro supposed to do when one of their longest-standing clients wants to extend their presence and generate interest in several new vertical markets by getting media coverage in key outlets? Not an unreasonable request except that the company has no customers in these markets and isn’t launching their product for several more months. This is all hypothetical, of course because this never happens in the real world.
You have to do the typical publication research to find out what they cover and how your client may fit. Then, you’ve got to brainstorm several angles that map back to your client’s overall messaging and tailor them to the publication you’re targeting.
The critical step is to GET CREATIVE!
As mentioned previously in this blog, my colleagues and I participated in a very informative discussion by Michael Smart, which probably had some of the best advice I’ve heard regarding media relations in a long time. Here’s one of the several tips he provided that I think helps with the creativity factor:
Find unorthodox beats – Choose an angle that will appeal to a reporter other than your specific beat.
For example, if your client is a state university and the advanced physics class is holding an aircraft race with students’ handmade devices, your first instinct may be to pitch the education section of a publication. But by searching for unorthodox beats, you may have better success in pitching an aeronautical reporter rather than an education reporter.
The key take away here is that this and other creative approaches make you think differently and leads you down different paths than just the “I’d like you to talk to ABC Company because they are the leader in their space” pitch.
Several of us at Arketi have used this approach and have also had success. Try this tip out and see if it helps you come up with some new and creative ways to get your clients’ news out there.