Tips To Expand Your Media Relations Skills

Media relations can play a significant role in the success of your press and publicity efforts. When you have good relationships with media representatives that matter to your industry and your audience, you can reach significant business goals. Yet media relations isn’t as easy as introducing yourself and becoming associates. It can take some savvy interpersonal skills, business skills, and communications skills as well. If you want to improve and expand your media relations, the following skills can help you move forward.

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1. Research

You know your skills need improving when you pick up the phone or send an email and realize that you don’t have enough, or worse incorrect, information about your chosen media representative. Before you pitch, contact, or offer support information to a journalist or media representative, it’s imperative that you know how to research the individual and the publication or media outlet that they represent. You want not only make sure that they’re the right resource or connection for your company, but also that you know enough about them that you can provide them with relevant, useful, and interesting information. Your research skills can mean the difference between a strong media relationship and coverage for your news and company, and no relationship at all.

2. Your Message

Have a solid understanding of the message that you want to communicate and how to explain it to the media. This means increasing your skills of clarification. You may need to clarify the message with other company employees and managers before approaching the media. You may want to make sure your message is aligned with marketing and sales. Not having clarity of your message can result in miscommunication, which can ultimately cost your company some press and PR, and it can negatively impact your relationship with the media.

3. Follow-Up

Strengthen your organization and follow-up skills. There’s nothing that will crush a professional relationship more quickly than not following through on what you say you’re going to do. If, in your pitch email, you say that you’ll follow up by phone in two days, then follow up by phone in two days. Create systems to remind yourself of your obligations. If a reporter contacts you and asks for supporting materials, follow-up and send those materials. It may sound like an obvious step, yet many people get busy and forget. This can harm your relationships with the media.

The world is a much more connected place and media representatives talk. Taking care of your media relationships impacts your press and publicity in an important way. Take care to get organized, clarify your message and thoroughly research your contacts before you reach out.

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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