Chances are if you have never worked in Marketing/PR or on the media side before, it’s not easy to understand how much time, energy and thought goes into getting media coverage. It’s almost as though getting great coverage is like magic. You ask for it and poof you get it… but only if the people pitching the opportunities to media are effective at their jobs. Here’s a few ways PR professionals make magic behind the scenes with the media.
- Research media contacts and outlets to develop a quality media database. While media database software exists to pull massive media lists, the lists are not always accurate so tracking media is going on behind the scenes to make sure that the best contacts are being targeted to achieve the best coverage. In addition, reviewing relevant recent articles and coverage is a continuous practice to stay up-to-date on what is being published.
- Creative strategizing is an ongoing brainstorm process that takes knowledge about the media and applies the needs of a client to develop and update copy for pitches that really focuses on the needs of both the media and the messaging from the client to attract media to the story. This process varies for each target media outlet/contact based on what they cover.
- Constant communication with the media is happening when you don’t realize it. PR professionals continuously build their relationships with media to represent their clients in the best way possible. This means responding to media as quickly as possible and working with media to coordinate opportunities or to provide them with details.
- Meanwhile, follow up calls and emails are taking place after a pitch or news release is distributed to make sure that the media is getting everything that they need to cover the story. Sometimes this only takes one phone call or one email and more times than not, persistent PR professionals are generating a series of angles to approach contacts a handful of times to break through the clutter and to grab the media’s attention to a story.