Your competitor is always in the news, yet your company has a better story to tell. So why aren’t you getting your fair share of media coverage?
Maybe you aren’t actively engaging reporters and editors. Perhaps you are trying but not getting any traction. Or maybe you have been the subject of a story in the past that didn’t turn out so well and now you’re gun shy.
Whatever the reason(s), you can do better – and your company will be better for having generated positive news coverage.
Here are six ways to do a better job with your media relations:
1. Know what news is: Hint, it’s different from paid media. News coverage is earned, not purchased as an advertisement is. When a third party – a reporter – deems your story newsworthy, it gains instant credibility.
2. Give up control: If you want control, buy an ad. If you want legitimate news coverage, then you’ll have to let the reporter do his job. This includes not asking to read the story before it is published. It is perfectly OK to offer to fact check with the reporter, however.
3. Tell the truth: Nothing matters more in business than your reputation, which starts with being honest about your story. Exaggerations and outright lies may get you headlines in the short term, but they won’t stand the test of time or a Google search.
4. Give the time: Depending on the media outlet and the complexity of the topic, a reporter may need a little bit or even an hour or more of your time. Give it to the extent it is necessary to explain your story. This is the best way to ensure thoroughness and accuracy.
5. Be prepared: Make sure that you and the reporter are on the same page when it comes to the story you’re both trying to tell. For your part, have your facts and talking points at the ready. This will put the reporter at ease knowing that you respect her time and the integrity of the interview. Answer the reporter’s questions completely, even if you have to get back to him with more information.
6. Keep at it: You’re not running a campaign with a beginning, middle and end. Your goal in business is to succeed now and into the indefinite future. So why would you stop telling your story? One positive newspaper article or mention on the evening news is not an end in itself but rather something to build on by continuing to engage the news media.
Of course, if you need help with your media relations strategy and execution, consider engaging a provider of public relations services.
Or you can do nothing and let your competition get all the attention.