Thursday, December 24, 2009


Step back and take a look at the big picture, put together your media relations plan.

Media relations will not happen on its own -- it takes work, time and skill. A media relations plan will help create a roadmap for a successful media outreach. After identifying your target audience in your communications plan, the media relations portion will look at how to use the media to reach this audience.

The objective of a media relations campaign can be to establish expertise, build goodwill, reinforce brand, introduce a new service, assist in generating leads, or manage a negative event. The media can be used to enhance the public’s knowledge and understanding of your advertising and promotional programs as well.

It is another communications vehicle used to keep a message in front of industries and decision-makers. The media can be used to build credibility -- people tend to see information they have viewed in the media as important. Using the media can extend the reach and frequency of your message. And while broadcast and print may be losing share, using the Internet’s media channels has increased the avenues audiences get their information.

Here are ideas for completing a media relations plan to get publicity for your business

  • The goals and objectives of your media relations plan can match those of advertising and promotion. An integrated communications plan needs to review the target message and how media relations can be used to reach your target audience.
  • Begin developing your media contact list. Look at both offline and online media sources. Where does your audience get their information? Is it television, newspaper, magazine, Blogs, v-logs, podcasts, RSS, etc. The time attributed to the research as well as media directories to help get to know the right journalist, editors and publishers make up this budget line item.
  • Begin to develop your public relations “plan of attack”. The timing and choice of vehicles needs to be developed. All mediums have schedules and deadlines so you want to make sure that you’re responsive. Media sources want stories that are timely and relevant. They are looking for unique perspectives. Will you use press releases? How many announcements do you anticipate? Announcements can be on things like new hires or new products. Do you plan for customer success stories or acquisition announcements? Don’t forget to budget for supporting graphics, charts, diagrams or photography to help illustrate a topic for the media. You can budget for X number of releases or have a monthly budget. Either way the budget is made up of the writing, production and distribution costs. Online public relations distribution services have fees by release or as a monthly subscription.
  • What are your newsworthy stories? Is there a major announcement or controversy in the forecast? Is there a new change in business direction, new research information, or a major new product in the pipeline? Will a spokesperson help bring attention to your initiatives? A press conference or media tour could appropriate. Photo ops, interviews and B-rolls can be used. A satellite media tour is a way offer one-on-one interviews remotely. Creating the pitch, a press kit and then pitching media outlets are possible beginnings for a budget. The cost of putting on a press conference or media tour will depends on the number in the series.
  • Is there an “angle” worth pitching to an editor for a feature article? If a publication has a focus for a particular month and you have a story to add to this article, talk to the editor. Have you done research or surveys to support your angle? Knowing the publications’ media schedules and becoming an expert on industry expert that editors can turn to for information is a worthwhile endeavor. Whether you do it yourself or hire of PR firm, it’s researching the calendars and developing the relationship with the editors. Once an opportunity is identified, it is the cost to write the feature article that makes up the budget.
  • The media is always looking for credible experts. By developing a white paper on a particular subject, it may provide the validation media is looking for. White papers can be offered up to your audience in a press release or used in a press kit. The budget again is made up of the writing and distribution costs of these tactics. Other places that the media may go to find industry expert is Letters to the Editor, broadcast interviews and pre-package stories. Seeking seminar or speaking engagements may also add credibility.
As an advertising agency, Brigham & Rago is here to help businesses develop their angle, hook and timing to use media relations in their communications plan. We can help develop the message for your audience to help them know and believe as well as persuade them. We look forward to putting an estimate of costs together and working with your company to help you meet your business objectives. Call 973-656-9006 to set up a meeting to discuss your next communications project. Visit our online portfolio to see examples of work we’ve created for our clients.

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