They Call It Public RELATIONS for a Reason

(excerpted from 21st Century Secrets to Effective PR: Tips and Best Practices for Gaining Media Exposure)

What’s the most important thing that any business person should know about working with the media? Relationships matter! I’ve been working with the media for a number of years — both as one of them in my role as a business journalist and on the other side of the relationship as a PR professional. Because I’ve had a foot in both camps for so long, I don’t have the same level of fear or anxiety about working with the media as many often do. I don’t view the media as “the enemy,” but as an ally in most cases. I need the media to help me get important messages out to various audiences. The goal:

to persuade them that they also need me — and that they need me (or my client sources) more than they need the input from other sources.

That involves building relationships. And just as when building any type of relationship, success requires:

  • The ability to provide value
  • Honesty
  • Responsiveness

Think of these factors as the foundational elements of positive and productive relationships with media representatives. You need to be able to provide value to the reporter; that value is based on the needs of their (and your) ultimate audience. You need to be honest and forthcoming, even when you don’t necessarily want to be covered in the media. Once you become recognized as a reliable source — in good times and bad — the media will seek you out. They will trust you. That’s important.

Ultimately, you need to be responsive. We live in a very competitive and very fast-moving media environment. When the media reaches out to you, be available. If you’re not, they’ll find someone else. It’s just the nature of the business. Being responsive means being responsive not only when the coverage is likely to reflect positively on you, but also when there’s a chance it might not. In fact, it’s how you respond in potentially negative situations that can best determine whether your relationships with the media remain strong.

If you often find yourself wondering why you’re not getting the media coverage your competitors are, it’s time to evaluate your relationships with the media reps you’re hoping to influence. Do you have active relationships? If you do, are you consistently providing value and honest input, and are you responsive even during the bad times?

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

Recommended Reading

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

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