Don’t confuse the need to be “socially distant” during the current pandemic with being “professionally distant.” We all need to keep doing our jobs from wherever we happen to be and that means creating, maintaining and building relationships.
Since it’s part of the Franco culture to engage in shared learning, we wanted to share some tips on the importance of relationships and how to keep them strong and fresh. These tips were the results of a recent virtual media relations 101 training session conducted by our media relations specialists.
Do Your Homework
The best relationships are beneficial, two-way streets. To get there, try these tactics:
- Know who you’re pitching.
- Know their target audience.
- Learn the topics or beat the journalist covers.
These recommendations should be a no-brainer, but we hear all too often from journalists that a common complaint is communications pros don’t do enough (or any!) research before sending a pitch – so this warrants continued repeating!
Read our ultimate media pitching guide to dig deeper on this topic.
Develop a Strategic Game Plan
Just as it’s critical to develop a strategy for any communications initiative, a strategic approach to media relations is just as important.
Part of being strategic with media relations is targeting each pitch – reference recent stories that relate to your pitch, tie into industry trends the reporter would be interested in, etc.
A key part of your strategy must be developing a clear and concise pitch that will motivate the reporter to respond…and hopefully do a story. Don’t bog your pitch down with too many details, or it’s headed straight to the trash folder.
Also, be armed with creative, out-of-the-box approaches. Enhance your pitch with eye-catching visuals, infographics or video to help journalists visualize your story and to give them supporting assets if they do decide to do a story.
Keep it Human
Hate robo calls? Readers and viewers don’t connect with robotic storytelling either! Always be human when telling those impactful stories to create a meaningful and real connection. This also means helping journalists understand why this story is meaningful to their audience.
Another aspect of being human is not filling your pitch with corporate jargon. Even if the person you’re reaching out to is super knowledgeable on a technical topic, cut the industry buzzwords.
Your ultimate goal is to find a way to make your story matter to someone. Those are the stories that resonate with readers and make people feel connected to others.
Contact us to learn more about our approach to media relations and experience telling our clients’ stories.
Samantha Meyer is an account executive at Franco. Connect with her on LinkedIn.