Why media relations determine your endurance in the market
Written by Angel Mora
When the name of a company appears repeatedly in a news portal or on a blog with a large audience, learn about its new sales peaks, and can recognize its leaders as benchmarks in their industry, we can conclude that said company has build-up its media relations to excellence.
Given that fact, I must confirm that the rumors are true: Certainly and due to globalization, you have the chance to manifest similar dynamics for your business spontaneously – and for free – by making use of the right techniques. However, make sure to avoid falling into the trap of “magic formulas” to get it.
Instead, you should analyze the data in-depth and mimic schemes that have already proven to be successful; Only in this way can you prepare and get closer to the top positions in search results and public opinion.
According to figures collected by the Demand Gen Report, more than 90% of consumers show an active interest in content backed by opinion leaders.
Fortunately, as a Publicity and PR agency, in Media Coverage we have more than enough experience in the area to separate what to do and not to do when it comes to outreach.
That’s why today I’m sharing with you my ultimate tip list for designing a communications plan and obtaining media relations capable of promoting your brand image.
That said, let’s get into the matter.
Setting the record straight
In an uphill economy, there are many obstacles at the moment f forming beneficial ties with other online channels. If this is your case, you must take into account the status of digital commerce in 2020:
- The need for clicks: Today, media and platforms all over the Web reserve their spaces only for relevant stories providing solutions to their audiences, while displaying the necessary parameters to easily stimulate traffic and leads – something that many businesses first-timers are lacking.
- Demand and supply: The willingness and purchasing capacity of the world population as we knew it is gone. Therefore, a huge part of the consuming public relies on trusting only well-known offers.
- Budget reduction: Smaller players have fewer resources against large corporations, which even today spend large sums of money on advertising and promotion.
Even so, e-commerce stands out as the user modality par excellence and more people join every day, adapting their services and products to match the scene. Hence, contrary to being discouraging, identifying which are the weak spots in the industry gives you a clear idea as well as the information you need to react properly.
All these data make 3 things clear:
- You need to create an interesting narrative with newsworthy properties around your brand, fitted for reader quality indexes and algorithms alike.
- The real competition for your company, at least for now, are not the brands that have already dominated the media a portion of the media, but the more specific and possibly neglected market niches.
- Your engagement campaigns should be aimed solely at the buyer persona, who statistically represents the public who most needs your solution and will receive related content the best.
Behind the media tactics
Taking into account the previous examples, it’s obvious that relations with the media offer too much exposure and distribution capacity to take them for granted.
What does this mean? That the habit of uploading content sporadically with the only purpose of accumulating it is over.
Accordingly, and as a preamble, you should strive to maximize both content and promotional efforts from your own digital spaces, and spin them around for reaching a stable and consistent connection with external media.
On my part, these are the top key points your media plan should include:
The tumult of social media, influencers, and sponsored content is the most obvious face of marketing. However, media relations can only be achieved through editorial texts that spark a reaction the moment it reaches the hands of journalists and readers.
As an example, Tesla and Apple have been among the most searched terms in Google for the past 2 years. They have earned the credibility of the public, not only with quality services but by interacting on a one-to-one level with users.
Although it sounds a bit contradictory, this action will not transmute into overnight sales. Remember that in the digital ecosystem your company is aspiring to go through different stages, where familiarizing the audience with your brand and loyalty is the main concern.
Additionally, there is an inescapable truth; And that is that the media and people you get in contact with have the power to decide if your press release will be published or not.
As its name says, it is a relationship in which both parties act by their own will. If for some reason you cannot automatically appear in that space, that link may still trigger other positive outcomes. Also, there are numerous alternatives where to appear and your job is to find them all.
Always aim for the good terms
Just as any user can become a customer, consider the press and influential characters in your field as potential allies. In the last 5 years, we have seen how the communication strategies that most penetrate society are those that respond to transparency and availability.
Therefore, if you get a gap in the media, I recommend filling it with updates as well as contributions like guest posts and shoutouts; to name a few options.
We’ve already explored the intricacies of online links and what to expect from them. Now is the time to take it to a practical perspective.
Earning visibility for your brand
As I suggested at the beginning of the article, your role as a brand leader is to coordinate a set of effective actions that culminate in your brand being featured in one of these platforms. And the way I see it, among the easiest alternatives to carry out that task at the moment are short and medium-term plans, which include: anticipating, applying, managing, and following up.
Let’s jump right into it!
1.Anticipating: Project your brand goals
To formally initiate your public relations strategy and create fruitful contacts with the media, start by determining what phase of business you are in.
Carefully examine the benefits of your brand, how it differs from your competitors as well as the vulnerable links in your online presence: either the number of visits, subscriptions, or overall sales. Subsequently, contrast them with your final goal.
For example, I have already mentioned in previous articles the importance of a media strategy when they respond to both marketing and advertising practices. Among the most common options to consider are:
- Do you want to conquer a new audience for an upcoming release?
- Are you interested in achieving commercial collaborations with related companies?
- (If what you’re trying to boost are your freelance services) Do you aim to become an expert on a certain subject or item?
These will be the starting points in your media relations as well as your success rates. Which brings us to the next point.
2.Applying: How can you increase your chances of success?
You cannot contact a media outlet right away without even knowing the journalists who work there, the topics they deal with, and the kind of people that follows them.
For example, we have managed to link many of our clients with Bloomberg. However, this possibility is limited to projects and companies that belong to the financial area.
Therefore, dedicate yourself to consuming the content of your possible allies; paying special attention to aspects such as the frequency of publication, the brands being mentioned, if they have established communities or forums, among other details you might be interested in.
The fact that there are several stands on how you can channel your story gives you a wide range of action. You can have a text that stimulates the own indicators of the media, such as news, conflicts, controversies, and overcoming stories. Of course, keep in mind what this quintessential media cover letter will be, so you have to choose very well which one to keep – there are no second chances for making a first impression.
To enhance your reputation, be sure to produce material that adheres to your message and audience requirements, such as:
Within any portal or public, there is a variety of users that you will reach out to via your tactics if they are done correctly. Therefore, you can have different tactics for each group (journalists, experts, influencers, and customers).
Take on the task of collecting data regarding indicators of consumer behavior or use of media, to create personalized messages.
From these patterns, you have the opportunity to drive the rest of your actions. One of the benefits of doing it this way is that you will find keywords and search terms with many variations. You can use our Keyword Suggestion Tool for it.
By discovering the voice and style preferred by your objectives, you can mold part of the content that you currently generate and start developing editorial messages that include key reasons and calls-to-action.
For example, you can associate your brand to a social cause, answer questions about a world event, or invite to participate in particular activities – all related in some way to your brand. Remember that your message must be striking, digestible, and entertaining.
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3: Managing: Ensure the fluidity of your media actions.
This is the point that depends on your internal evaluations as an entrepreneur the most. The reason behind it is that you can make use of different tools and KPIs.
If yours is a small company, I recommend dividing the tasks by department or by teams.
In other words, one team could be dedicated to searching and analyzing media, another could be creating valuable material, as well as one in charge of monitoring the sending of press releases through email and direct messages to your potential allies on social media.
Something that can make the difference is taking into account the actions of the competition. Therefore, pick a team for analyzing their strengths and the empty spaces they are leaving in the digital sphere.
4: Follow up
Once you have taken the first steps in your media relations, with people interested in giving visibility to the chosen narrative, it is up to you to care for and maintain these new bonds; otherwise, for a next opportunity, you will have to start from scratch and nothing you did will matter.
That’s right. With the rush and pace of e-commerce, long-term contacts represent a real treasure that you can not afford to lose.
The best way to show appreciation for them is to dedicate special content that synthesizes the latest events around your company. It is worth noting I’m not talking about bombarding them or demanding to be published in their spaces every time you reach out.
Even if you wanted to, it is not possible to maintain a scoop status 24/7. But what you can do is become that recurring entity I mentioned at the beginning of the article.
Therefore, strive to include journalists, experts, and influencers in some of your posts as a reference source and keep them updated periodically (every month, three months, or semi-annually).
What are you getting out of this? Predict the advances of other brands and stand out. You can automate contact actions with different programs or by establishing a newsletter system.
Consider that all of this process must be registered, as well as the performance of each press release or the article where your brand has been mentioned.
As you can see, the current propagation of digital platforms and the high demands around them, make your media relations task a fundamental component of the new normal.
If you want to facilitate the whole process and lighten the weight on your shoulders, go to our pricing section where we explain our different media packages; feel free to request more information about it.
On the other hand, if you want to add to this subject to help other readers, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment about it!