Do you know why media relations is important? Depending on whom you ask, you’ll probably hear a variety of reasons about why media relations is an essential part of your communications efforts. As an public relations agency professional specializing in media relations, my eyes are always open for media opportunities for my clients – and for good reason!
- Become an industry leader – If you’re an expert in your field, having articles citing your expertise or writing a byline on it will raise awareness of your mastery. Through proactive media relations, you can secure these opportunities with various media outlets.
- Build positive reputation – While very similarly important to becoming an industry leader, building a positive reputation is imperative for brands and companies as a whole rather than the individual. Media relations can achieve this through positive news stories through a third party, i.e. the media. Building a positive reputation can include articles on a company’s good works in the community (click here for corporate social responsibility ideas and importance of corporate social responsibility), being a trusting company, etc.
- Increase brand awareness – This is different from positive reputation because a brand’s awareness is more so about a company’s products or services. But, it’s no different in needing media relations to help increase a brand’s awareness. Think about how your service or product could be in a blog post or an online article about the “Top 10 Resorts to Vacation in the Valley” or “Top 10 Daycare Centers in Phoenix,” for example. Readers cling to these lists. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched for a “Top 10” list of some sort.
- Measure brand awareness and reputation – Media relations is also a really good way to measure your brand’s awareness and reputation. You can track how many media hits your company, service or product has received in the past to find your benchmark. After a few months of strategic media relations, you will start seeing those media hits increase.
- Drive qualified leads – As you implement a media relations campaign, through measurement, you will see your target audience landing on your website or calling your company. You want these leads, as long as you’re targeting the right audience with the right key messages. Your media relations strategy should make sure you’re targeting the right audience for qualified leads.
- Tell a story / Share your news– Is something exciting happening with your company? Maybe you’re celebrating your company’s 10th anniversary or debuting a new product. This is the news that the readers and viewers want to know about, so you should be sharing this information with the media.
As you understand why media relations is important - learn how to improve media relations, there are many actions you can take. Some actions include mastering the art of tailoring a pitch, becoming phone savvy and building a network of media contacts (FinderBinderAZ is a perfect place to start), just to name a few. The benefits of media relations are endless. Whether you want to be credible, reach targeted audiences or share your story, you need to be proactive with your media relations strategy.