Article Summary:Seven tips to improve your media relations and become more headline-worthy.
Do you ever wonder why some companies seem to steal all of the media limelight, while others can't even get quoted? Often-quoted companies practice headline-grabbing media relations, and you can, too. Savvy companies think strategically about media relations by giving the media what they need. Here are our tips on how you can become headline worthy:
- Nostradamus still gets press five centuries after his death.
The media loves to talk with company spokespeople who are willing to make predictions about their industry, assume positions on controversial issues, take risks and exude confidence.
- Build a personal brand and the media will call you.
Top companies and their spokespeople cultivate a reputation of authority, in part, by being a voice of their industry and speaking at trade conferences and other business forums.
- Craft a position of thought leadership.
Companies become thought leaders in their field by sharing their knowledge with the media. Reporters gain access to all-important experts to quote, and companies achieve credible exposure. Commit to sharing your knowledge this year by publishing educational research reports and white papers. (Leave the marketing hype and company positioning for your brochures and sales slicks.)
- Make sense of data.
Headline-worthy companies think macro and speak micro. They issue press releases, write letters to editors, and reach out trade and business media to lend insight into business and economic developments.
- Drop everything.
A reporter can't postpone deadlines, which means companies that want media attention must work around their editorial schedules and be willing to respond after hours.
- Listen to Miss Manners.
Oft-quoted companies treat reporters with courtesy. They are on time and prepared for interviews, return phone calls and e-mails in near real-time, and provide the media with useful information to make their jobs easier.
- Take Jeffrey Gitomer's advice.
The sales training guru said, "If you make a sale, you can earn a commission. If you make a friend, you can earn a fortune." To paraphrase: If you issue a press release, you can earn a mention. If you make a reporter a friend, you can earn a headline. Media-savvy companies establish rapport with the top business and trade reporters just as they do with their most-important customers. They meet and talk with them frequently to determine what they need -- and then deliver.
Cara Good is the co-founder and president of WunderMarx Inc., a fast-growing international public relations, marketing and branding firm representing some of the world's most innovative technologies and ideas. She has been quoted and featured in numerous articles on entrepreneurialism, public relations and marketing, and speaks frequently on these topics. For more information visit www.wundermarx.com