Building Media Relationships with Strong and Targeted Content
Aspects of pitching and relationship building with the media have changed over the last 10 – 20 years. There was a time when the strength of these personal media relationships created telephonically, on behalf of clients, played a key role in generating high-quality coverage. Over time, this has changed to include the use of automation to drive pitching, support relationship building and deliver coverage.
However, to pitch and nurture a relationship within the media – developing strong content forms the backbone of pitching and media relations.
Creating Opinionated Content with Substance
Without strong issues-based, opinionated content to support and drive correspondence with the press, brands will struggle to engage with journalists and publications effectively. This content needs to align with the current narrative that is taking place within a specific sector and convey the brand’s response to solving a particular problem that is being discussed.
When brands start to commentate on the issues that a sector is up against with strong data-led insights (e.g. surveys or case studies), it helps position that brand as capable of providing credible, relevant insight that informs a particular journalist’s story development. Alternatively, this also encourages editors to seek contributed pieces directly from brands themselves. Without this kind of substance, media campaigns run the risk of falling flat on their faces. They fail to be appealing to the media and equate to a lack of results.
Targeting and Context is Important
Aside from developing a strong opinion to share with the media that brands are trying to influence, media relations teams need to ensure that content is developed and targeted accordingly for the correct target audience. This part is key.
If the editorial policy has been set by the publication to cover a particular topic, it’s important to ensure that what is being pitched to this publication is relevant. This is where agencies and brands can collaborate effectively. Together they can identify the correct publications that the brand is trying to influence, and develop and pitch applicable content to the correct person.
Pitching with relevance can make all the difference. This also helps to ensure that efforts – resources – are focused on achieving the right results. What’s the point of placing content in publications that potential customers do not read?
Approaching the Media
Tools like Cision and Response Source offer the ability to pitch content via email to many people at once. They can often reduce the amount of time taken to support email pitching and are great at helping to deliver results. However, it remains equally important to go directly to contacts that your brand has strong relationships with to ensure the best results.
Over time, agency-side media relations teams, like Neo PR, have worked closely with journalists across multiple trades, as well as nationals, and have developed strong contacts within the media for our clients. Therefore, it’s important to make use of these, and jointly grow these relationships by continuing to develop and pitch suitable content to these individuals and publications.
A Combined Approach
Taking a balanced approach to pitching with automation and in a direct and targeted manner with key contacts is best decided on a case-by-case basis. Often we blend the use of both methods appropriately. One of our many goals is to generate media coverage for our clients. So we take the approach we believe is best to achieve this.
At the same time, it is important to add that even though we use automation and have strong relationships, it doesn’t mean that we as PRs can abuse media relationships by pitching poorly formed content. We have seen some occasions where this has happened. It is often detrimental to brand and relationship building. Instead, offering strong, targeted issues-based content makes the difference and positions agencies and brands as great content producers.
Over the years, Neo PR has created relationships for many brands with the media. In the case where we haven’t had the media relationship in place, we’ve developed the right content and targeted it at the right set of media, to develop and nurture that relationship.
Equally, it is through the strength of our content and media relationships across various sectors that we have become recognised. This has enabled us to launch brands, build reputations, create markets and drive our clients’ debates. Why not get in touch with us today and find out how we can help your brand to develop or strengthen its relationship with the media and grow your brand awareness, and support sales. Contact us at email@example.com