We all aspire to succeed and to shine a positive light on our companies for the public to see. Far too often, though, businesses have unreasonable media coverage expectations.
As public relations professionals, we must help our clients define realistic goals concerning the media coverage they want. Here are six missteps that companies often make when setting their media coverage expectations:
1. You’re aiming for the wrong type of media outlet.
MSNBC isn't likely to feature a small- or medium-sized business. Such national outlets often look for publicly traded companies and those that are the largest/top heavy hitters in their industries. Keep perspective about where your company and expertise fit best.
2. The size of your campaign doesn’t align with your expectations.
Whether you opted for a local or regional PR campaign versus a national one, you should know that you won't get media coverage every day – or even every week. Media outlets spread their coverage across all industries and companies and they generally don’t focus on a single company extensively unless it's the largest in its space (Google, Apple, et cetera).
3. You're overestimating the number of media outlets that may provide coverage.
You won’t get coverage from every outlet. Sometimes media outlets want an exclusive and won't cover your news after another outlet has covered it. Aim for several targeted media outlets to cover your news.
4. The news topic isn’t relevant.
Some things aren’t newsworthy. The newsroom doesn't care about the CEO’s daughter winning a dance competition, nor your recent Hawaiian shirt day barbecue. This isn't interesting or newsworthy to people outside of your office.
5. You want media coverage right now.
Earning media coverage doesn’t always happen overnight. For example, monthly magazines typically work a minimum of three to four months ahead. It can take several months from initial pitch and follow-up to a live story. Your story's timing may not be in alignment with the outlet's priorities, preferred stories and deadlines.
6. You aren’t hiring a PR firm soon enough.
Public relations takes time. PR builds your brand while advertising supports it. If you have news you want to share (including launching a new product), don't wait until the last minute; hire a PR firm early to time media coverage effectively.
As PR professionals, we serve as advisers to manage your media coverage expectations. Using our expertise and connections, we work hard to ensure quality earned news media coverage for you and your company.
(And remember: Once you earn media coverage, have a plan to leverage earned media coverage to your benefit!)
Marjorie Comer is an award-winning PR professional at Axia Public Relations. She graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication. Marjorie cheers for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Marjorie has worked for Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Follow her on Twitter @Marjorie_Comer. Learn more about Marjorie Comer. Read Marjorie's recent blog posts below.
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