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How to win in the game of media relations

By Lisa Goldsberry

Be the company that journalists want on their team to gain positive news coverage

Media relations is a two way street.

You want to increase media coverage for your company, yet you’re afraid or reluctant to share specific details, such as sales, revenue, contract value, client names, costs, etc. Your fear is understandable, as you have to worry about maintaining an edge over your competitors and keeping control of your information. The media experts at Axia Public Relations have some sage advice for dealing with this conundrum: Get over it.

In every relationship, there has to be give and take, and media relations is no exception. If you want your company to receive great media coverage, you have to share. Cooperating with journalists is crucial for the success of your brand.

Why disclosure in media interviews is vital

  • The more you share, the more newsworthy your information is. Would the story of Snow White have been as interesting if you didn’t know the motivations of the queen? Don’t be afraid to offer your opinion on issues in your industry, give human-interest examples and share new, attention-grabbing information. Remember: Journalists are not interested in rehashing the same story that other outlets have reported. They want something they haven’t heard before; so be the one to give it to them.
  • Consumers don’t want to read, "The company would not disclose the value of the contract." Factors like terms, dollar amounts and the process you’ve taken to get to this point are the most exciting and remarkable aspects of a story. Sometimes this means being a little uncomfortable and stretching yourself. In the end, it will be worth it.
  • Without pertinent details, journalists will probably pass on your news and choose something with more meat. Trying to interest journalists in a story without specifics is like offering a recipe without all the ingredients. We always encourage sharing just enough to interest the journalist, showing that the story is newsworthy, credible, tangible and measurable.
  • If you're not willing to discuss and disclose specifics, this may not be the right news opportunity right now. When you propose a story and don’t want to reveal the fine points that make it interesting, what you’re really presenting to journalists is the equivalent of a redacted report. All the information is available, yet you’re not letting them read it in its entirety. You may want to wait until you’re ready to say more or choose a different pitch altogether. However, you should understand that waiting could dilute the value of your news and you could miss your opportunity completely.

How to succeed at media relations

1. Manage the message.

How the media portrays your company largely depends on you. Therefore, in any media encounter, it’s crucial to understand what the journalist is looking for and provide it to make your company shine. Be concise in your answers and deliver the most pertinent information first, without flowery language or jargon. The types of messages that will matter tend to be emotional, credible and concrete. The right spokesperson training will help you accomplish these goals.

2. Take deliberate risks.

Creating buzz around your company sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Accessible information to make the journalist’s job easier, combined with strategic planning, can help your information rise above all the noise of other pitches and messaging.

3. Hire a PR firm to help you.

The ins and outs of media relations can be confusing and complicated. A top quality PR firm will guide you through this minefield. At Axia Public Relations, we are media experts. We successfully pitch journalists all the time and have developed the relationships you need to increase visibility for your brand. To find out more, contact us or download our complimentary e-book “Learn Media Relations from the Media” today.

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Lisa-G-Color-SM.jpgClients love Lisa’s engaging writing and PR experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked with Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa.



Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: media relations, public relations, PR tips, earned media

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