Once you have a PR Plan in place, it’s time to get smart with a good dose of research. In this day and age, the media are constantly bombarded with hundreds of emails, faxes and phone calls. The challenge for you is figuring out how to stand out and get noticed. This is something that may be broadly achievable, but more than likely, it’s achievable only on a case-by-case basis, depending on the interests and style of individual journalists.
To have a successful public relations program, you really need to know what each of your targeted media members is looking for and how your business fits into current industry trends and news. The only way to accomplish this is through research. Before pitching any media member or sending out a single press release, ask yourself:
“Why is this reporter going to care about this particular story? Is it really newsworthy?”
Develop your list of media venues
Read, watch or listen to the publications, radio programs, television shows, and websites on your media list. Who are the appropriate reporters writing about your industry or business trend? Which reporters will be interested your business news?
Once you answer these questions, find the appropriate media contact information. Discover the best way to reach each of these media members by looking online or calling each media venue and asking the receptionist for contact information. If you don't have time to conduct this research on your own consider purchasing a media targeting database. For example, PR Newswire’s MEDIAtlas is one of the world's largest sources of editorial contacts for print, online and broadcast media.
Create a media contact database
Get organized by creating a spreadsheet for all of your current and future media-contact data. Include the media name, venue, email, phone, fax, and any other pertinent information. Also create a space to document conversations with reporters and other notes. And remember to review this data often to accommodate for frequent staff turnover at the various media venues. You can also use contact management software that may make data entry and reminders more easy and effective.
By conducting the appropriate research upfront, you’ll avoid wasting time, money and effort later on. Plus, you’ll create valuable relationships with key media members who can help publicize your business.