Generating media coverage is a difficult task in today’s fast-paced news environment. If you’re a media relations professional, you know how stressful it is to develop a pitch that has just the right subject line or call to action to grab a reporter’s attention. If you’ve never tried to generate media coverage, you likely don’t even know where to begin. Well, the beginning is where the source of our pain often lies. We’re so focused on breaking through with journalists, that we sometimes forget to line up the assets that we need to do so.
A simple checklist can go a long away in lowering our blood pressure and developing relationships with the media! Here are a few items that I recommend adding to our checklists before engaging journalists:
Bios and high-resolution images or video
In an era of fake news, reporters are careful to verify that who they are speaking to is credible. Also, they’ll want to ensure that their source’s background lends to the story that they’re reporting on. If you’re working with an executive, go beyond securing their title, and gain an understanding of their day-to-day role in their organization and their past experience. Working with an independent thought leader in technology? Gather detail on the technologies and research that he or she is developing.
High-resolution images – particularly those that are at least 300 dpi – and video can help the media to attract readers attention, especially when publishing a story online. Unveiling a new product? Secure video of that product in action. Announcing a new CEO? Make sure to obtain an updated headshot of that executive.
Links to social media
Does your client have a strong social media following? Are they seeing a good amount of engagement on their LinkedIn posts or Instagram stories? Let reporters know! Online engagement is key for the media in today’s digital age, and a chance to expand their reach on your channels can help to separate you from the pack.
Make sure that all calendars are prepared for media engagement, especially for a major announcement. Be sure to stay on top your spokesperson’s schedule, so that you know when he or she is tied up in meetings for the week, or out of the country for an extended period. Also, consider setting aside a one-two hour window for interviews in your client’s calendar. We want to avoid promising availability and then taking it away and damaging our relationships with reporters.
Reporters are moving faster than ever in today’s digital age. Sharing these assets up front will help them to make a quick determination as to whether to pursue coverage of your campaign. You’ll also establish long-term relationships that will yield tremendous value.