Great PR is a little like dating. You need to find the target you want to woo and you need to know how to make the best possible introduction.
You may think knowing how to identify media targets and uncover compelling angles that suit each media outlet you want to target is obvious. But just like dating, it comes from truly knowing what you want and respecting the person you are approaching.
Here are some very important aspects of wooing media targets with your more compelling business stories.
First of all, knowing who you want to target and what aspect of your business they will find interesting or intriguing is essential.
To help you develop compelling story angles worthy of the media’s interest, you should:
- Read the newspaper daily – you need to know what is topical and what you might be competing against when trying to get your target’s attention
- Read publications you want to appear in so you can pitch relevant content in the right format
- Listen to questions your clients and customers ask you so you know what people want to know from you
- Read industry publications and spot industry trends
- Be aware of current affairs, news, events, topics of discussion – as you can hijack (or newsjack as it’s called in content) these for your story and to make it more timely or topical.
If you don’t have contacts in the media or don’t know which journalists you should contact, the best place to start is to look at your local media or the media that is consumed by your ideal audience. Identify the journalists and commentators writing or talking about your industry, the issues your business tackles, or other topics that relate to your organisation.
Another way to make a warm introduction is to refer to a recent story by a journalist on a similar topic as it helps them see straight away that your pitch is going to be relevant to them.
Once you have selected relevant and compelling angles to take to media, you need to know who you want to target and why. Being haphazard and using the ‘spray and pray’ approach will not only be less effective, it could see you wasting journalists time. And that doesn’t benefit anyone.
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the different types of media you can consider targeting.