6 Often Overlooked Media Relations Best Practices
I contributed the first of these media relations best practices to this article at CIO.com by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. I updated this on July 9, 2020, to include some more often-overlooked things companies should be doing to get the word out about themselves to the media.
1. Use Twitter Frequently
Reporters are heavy users of Twitter.
It is a go-to distribution channel to break news, of course, but it has also become a primary way for reporters to develop expert sources.
Demonstrate your expertise on Twitter by sharing articles related to your industry and business that reporters who cover your industry would find compelling.
Use Twitter’s search function to find and follow reporters who cover your industry. Put them on a Twitter List so you can easily scan their tweets without getting overwhelmed with a lot of irrelevant noise.
Retweet their stories and be sure to tag them so that they are notified them you’ve shared their content.
Interact with them. Build a relationship with them.
This can be done through a company account but it is far more effective if done through a personal account. Reporters will have more trust in an actual person than an anonymous, faceless brand account.
For small businesses, the most likely candidate for this would be the owner. For larger businesses, that role would most likely be filled by the communications director or head of public relations but it could also be internal subject matter experts.
2. Scan Help A Reporter Out Daily
Scan Help A Reporter Out daily for any queries from reporters that anyone in your organization can answer. That means that whoever is doing the scanning will need to have enough institutional knowledge so they can identify the expert that can answer a particular question and have the authority and/or connections to get them to respond.
The response should answer the reporter’s question as directly and as fully as possible. The quicker you answer the query, the more likely your quote will be used. The sooner a reporter finds what they’re looking for, the less likely they’ll look further.
The basic idea is to quickly give them a cut-and-paste quote for their story.
3. Blogging As A Media Relations Tool
If you don’t have a blog, consider creating one.
If you do, use it to publish interesting, compelling content that demonstrates your expertise in your field. Share your thought leadership blog posts on Twitter and link to your blog from your Twitter bio.
This can help establish credibility among media by demonstrating your expertise and insight.
If you’ve been quoted in the media before, be sure to display those quotes with links to the articles on your blog in the sidebar where reporters can see them.
Part of what journalists will be looking for is whether or not you are easy to work with. If you’ve worked with media before, they’ll be more likely to consider you.
4. Host Audio & Video Clips
Broadcast reporters in particular will need to know if you are good on camera or sound good on radio.
For that reason, including audio or video clips from past interviews can help persuade reporters you’d be a good fit for their story.
Share them on social media and your blog but also consider embedding them on your company biography page.
5. Create An Industry Experts Page
If you have several people with subject matter expertise, you can take this concept a step further by creating a page on your website dedicated to your internal experts.
This would be a part of your company website media section and should include:
- The subject matter expert’s name and photo,
- A biography extolling their experience and knowledge area, and
- Past news coverage and audio/video clips in which they’ve been cited.
You’ll also need to include contact information for the experts themselves or for a public relations person who can arrange an interview.
6. Share Your Interviews & Citations
Be sure to share any stories in which you’ve been the subject of an interview.
Likewise, be sure to share stories in which you’ve been cited or quoted as an expert. If it fits within the limited space of a status update, consider copying and pasting the direct quote as the lead to your status update along with a link to the story.
Consider creating a Twitter Moment from the best of your news coverage that you can refer journalists to.