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Working in media relations can be quite a challenge especially when you are looking to regularly have a story written, which is quite important for website SEO. The traditional way would involve pitching a story to a number of journalists in the hopes that a couple of them will be interested in it and publish it on their platforms. The other alternative is drafting press releases for the various stories and sending them to the journalists in your contact list. The rest can be sent to traditional newswires.
All these methods rely on expectations and hoping that someone will actually publish the story. While pitching stories is indeed part of a media relations officer’s job, creating meaningful relations is more effective in getting desired results. There are several ways you can get media exposure without reliance on pitching and press releases only.
Media blasting refers to the act of sending messages and stories as wide as possible. The idea works on probability that the higher the number of journalists reached the greater the chances of getting a story published and a placement in various media platforms.
Media relations on the other hand focus on getting established and nurturing existing connections. The relationship has to be mutually beneficial. Effort should be placed in giving something as much as in getting something from the journalists in the contact list. Here are four tactics to use to improve media relations.
The first strategy is to change the way you present your story ideas. It has to be the less serving approach used by many PR officers who offer what they have to say about a topic, subject or product instead of looking to offer the journalists assistance and opportunity for a story. Bother to care about the journalists and their interest in your story subject not just what you want done with the story.
Instead of always expecting to be on the other end of interviews and storytelling, invite journalists’ views in your blogs, video series and regular podcasts. As a brand your company has its own audience and reach. In such an arrangement you get to give the journalist exposure and visibility which also rubs on your company. You also get to have insights into the working of the market and build better, meaningful relationships.
This is an example of how you can give back to the journalists you already know and build better relationships with them. It is also an opportunity to start new relationships. Share stories of the journalists you follow and those whose contacts you have on social media. This will increase their page views and help them grow an audience. Do this regularly and they will notice and appreciate your efforts more thus building a relationship even when you have no pitch.
It is no use pitching a story and expecting the third party to do all the research and fill it up for you. You should facilitate the ease with which they compile and get all needed information. You need factsheet, videos, pictures and any helpful background information. This makes your story more appealing to write and the help appreciated while you become effective in getting out the information you want.