To manage media relations successfully public relations professionals should start with effective media targeting. Different media focus on different topics and target specific audiences. Thus, sending a technical story to a general media outlet will not bring any positive results. Some public relations professionals send a story to different media outlets without having done research on what stories these outlets cover and who their audiences are. Such an action can have adverse effects on both the PR pro’s and the organisation’s reputation he or she represents. To avoid this fatal mistake and to match an employer or a client to relevant media outlets, PR practitioners should answer the following four questions:
1. What is the function of the organisation?
2. Which audience does it want to reach?
3. What message (s) does it want to deliver?
4. Which media outlets are available for this?
An organisation’s function plays an essential role in its media exposure. For example, high-profile consumer products need the most support. In contrast, industrial products have fewer customers and they need less PR support.
Understanding the organisation’s audience is another essential part in dealing with the press. PR practitioners and their marketing colleagues should do a thorough research on audiences who have a special interest in the products or services of their organisation.
Audiences are diverse. To reach these audiences, the organisation should have several key messages. For example, internal audience (employees) care about their organisation’s news and their own security, and customers about the nature and quality of the products and services.
There is a wide range of media outlets available. Thus, it is important to tailor messages according to the needs of each media outlet and target audience.
In general, the press favours significant issues affecting the industry or the results of research with surprising insights that are relevant to the industry. When journalists receive relevant and newsworthy stories, they are more prone to develop a long-lasting cooperation with the organisation based on the PR pro’s competence and knowledge about the journalist’s interest.
Article written by Liudmila Kazak,