By Duree Ross
Today’s media may seem a lot different from the media of years’ past. It’s smaller. It’s faster. And it’s online 24/7. However, no matter how much has changed, some aspects about media will always remain the same.
Reporters, bloggers, producers and photographers are just people trying to do a job. Your job is to make their jobs easier, streamlined and efficient. When you do that, you’re making your business irresistible to media.
Here are seven things you can do to make media fall in love with your business over and over again:
- Be an industry informant. When news breaks in your industry — be it taking care of kids or building cars — you can be an expert spokesperson if you speak to more than just your business. Stay abreast of what’s happening in your industry as a whole, and you will be able to offer your perspective to those who are just learning about your profession during that day’s news cycle.
- Relate your product to people. Technology, new programs and expansions mean nothing if you cannot relate them to the people they affect. This also applies to special events, fundraisers and new hires. Who does this affect? Whose lives are changed because of the news? Can you put numbers or faces to your press releases?
- Provide great visuals. This is the age of YouTube. It is the largest social media channel — not Facebook, not Twitter. People like pictures, and if they move, all the better. Learn how to take high-resolution photos and email them to newsrooms. Master the art of shooting the perfect 30-second video footage for producers who are short-staffed.
- Don’t call press conferences. Does your news involve blowing up a building, shutting down a government or catching a killer? Those are the kind of questions you should ask before inviting media to a press conference. This PR tool is now a rarity since it involves changing the schedules of all local media to revolve around your announcement. Press conferences are great if they feature a visual that will only happen once, important spokespeople who will only speak once, or an event that will affect a large part of the population.
- Know the basics. Practice for the camera and/or the interview so you know your message, you look good and people know what to do when you’re finished. You won’t be loved if you call after the interview asking if this or that can be added, changed or deleted. You won’t be loved if you make media wait while you do your make-up or require several takes to get your words out.
- Always be ready. The interview that makes your day might come at 5 a.m. during a morning segment, or at 3:15 p.m. when you’re in a meeting, or even late at night. If you decline because it is not convenient, media will go find someone else to love.
- Share the wealth. If you’re not the right person for the segment, but media calls you, share your network. Give them other experts with data, friends with great stories, or business partners who may be more abreast on a certain topic than you. A generous soul attracts gratitude. And it’s always nice to have a reporter owing you a favor …
Durée Ross is president of Durée & Company, an award-winning PR, marketing and special events firm which she founded in 1999. She is an award-winning PR entrepreneur with a broad spectrum of experience spanning the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients.
Durée & Company is a PRBI member with offices in South Florida and Aspen, Colorado.