As a professional journalist, I’ve received my share of calls from unhappy sources complaining I excluded them from an article. These calls come because some companies believe if their competitors receive media attention, they deserve attention too. Realistically, the news cycle doesn’t work that way. Even with the highest degree of professionalism, there are plenty of editorial cracks through which information can fall.
Should you notice your competitor gaining traction and earning headlines without so much as a mention of your company, your first inclination may be to call the reporter (or editor) and complain. Here’s my advice: Please, don’t.
While it’s momentarily gratifying to tell someone off, the approach is rarely a good idea, especially if a relationship is not already in place. The “Hey, you didn’t include us in your article, and you included our biggest competitor?” call creates negative feelings and can also result in future lost media opportunities. So, what steps can you take to offset missed media opportunities and prevent future ones?
1. Alert the press.
Being human, the media has only so much bandwidth and occasionally makes mistakes. Rather than pick up the phone to vent your frustration, consider sending a short email with bullet points highlighting your disappointment along with a few points of differentiation. If you do this correctly, journalists will be grateful to learn of any oversight and will note it going forward, especially if they cover your industry as their regular beat.
2. Make an appearance.
With the broad reach of digital media, consider posting highlights, competitive advantage points or differentiation statements within the comments section of news articles, digital posts or across social media. Correct the media miss by appropriately inserting your brand messaging in supplemental areas, which may also have the ancillary benefit of creating greater public dialogue – your business included. Enlisting the support of your CEO (or other key executives) on these occasions is also a good idea.
3. Keep the reporter high on your radar.
Should your company maintain a list of media with whom they work, consider adding the journalists who omitted your company to your email database or regularly engage them in their favored social media platform. This effort will ensure they receive all critical news as it happens, keeping them abreast of all future announcements and activities.
The easiest strategy for handling missed media opportunities is to involve a professional public relations partner trained to negotiate challenging media relationships, while ensuring message consistency, proper tone and optimal responses to secure future inclusion. If you’re curious how PR can be of benefit to your company, download Axia Public Relations’ guide Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment today. Within its pages are reasons why hiring a PR partner may be one of your smartest investments leading into 2018.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and nonprofit public relations. She serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force and is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community. Wendy has worked for Axia Public Relations since September 2014. Learn more about Wendy Bulawa Agudelo. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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