Proactive Media Relations Will Increase Your Brand Visibility

Companies should welcome and encourage attention from the media. If you aren’t getting press coverage, you should be taking steps to increase your company’s brand visibility.

The process begins with establishing and maintaining good relations with reporters, editors and broadcasters – on and offline. Good media relations are not one-shot events. They are relationships that you carefully build and maintain over time.

Media relations can help your company gain marketplace attention, providing clarity and credibility to help move your customers and prospects to buy your products and services; news stories will reinforce a positive brand image of your company.

The goal of a media relations program is to build business in your markets by creating an image of your company as the best provider of your type of products and services.

Your company can generate a considerable amount of good will, customer loyalty and new business by a proactive, continuing media relations program. To achieve this, you should actively seek media coverage on an ongoing basis, and not wait for reporters to call your business. Under a proactive media relations program, you will initiate contacts with the media on a regular basis.

Media Relations Requires Commitment From Top Management

A proactive program requires the commitment and involvement of top management; they need to be available to the media and cooperate with your public relations (PR) staff or an outside agency in seeking out media opportunities.

A successful media relations program includes routine announcements of personnel changes and promotions, calling attention to community projects, and promoting operations and activities unique to your company. It also requires positioning your company’s top managers as thought leaders in the community and your industry by offering comments and reactions to events that affect your industry and company.

A proactive program will build lasting relationships with reporters and editors, so that they will get in touch with your company when preparing stories and needing an expert opinion.

The key to becoming a reporter’s source of news is to follow these four simple rules. Know

  • The publication, radio station or broadcast network that you are sending information to.
  • The reporter who would be the most interested in receiving your information.
  • When to call the reporter.
  • How to pitch a good story.

Developing a solid and effective media relations plan requires

  • Researching past and current media coverage and public opinion of your company. You need to evaluate the overall market and factors that affect your organization.
  • Identifying and developing your goals and objectives for your communication efforts.
  • Determining your intended audience and what you want them to know.
  • Developing your message before contacting a member of the media. Make sure your message is easily understood, pertinent and motivating.
  • Knowing the right media source before you need them; this will allow you to reach your target audience.
  • Keeping the press informed of what is happening at your company and supplying information that allows them to write newsworthy content.

Media Relations is a Year-round Responsibility

Good media relations take place year-round with you exchanging and providing relevant and newsworthy information about your company to the media.

You need to measure the results of your communications to determine its effectiveness and any needed improvements. Over time, media coverage and placements will build and create awareness of your company and have a positive effect helping to generate sales.

Developing and carrying out an effective media relations publicity program takes a lot of work, and requires constant attention, measurement and evaluation. Yet, it’s well worth it!

What is Proactive Public Relations?

I was just asked this question. Proactive public relations (PR) is a carefully planned, sustained effort to establish your company identity, maintain credibility and promote communications between your company and the public. It means getting the word about your company to the media so that they, in turn, will keep your name and good deeds in front of their audience—your potential customers.

When someone makes a claim, you typically say, “How do you know?” The reply you most commonly hear is “I read it or heard it,” not, “From a commercial.” Using the media to deliver a message is a type of endorsement that is impossible to achieve through any type of advertisement. With its message of integrity, quality and extraordinary service, it has the power to persuade.

There are several advantages of having a well-developed PR campaign. For starters, when stories are done on your industry, the media will have a spokesperson within your company to contact. This way, your company, and often its executives, will be mentioned prominently in such articles, positioning them as leaders in the field. Most importantly, though, it will convey information to the most important audience of all: your potential customers.

So, what is news? Information that is of potential interest to the people in your community, industry, business or marketplace. People make news. Employee promotions and awards make news. Events make news – business openings, special promotions, anniversary celebrations, participation in or sponsorship of a community event. Innovations are news – a new product or service.

The more customers read, see or hear about your company’s accomplishments, the more they know about you, and the more they want to know about you.

Awareness and a good image are what can set your company apart from your competitors. Your commitment to a sound PR program makes a difference.

What Does Public Relations do for Your Marketing?

Public relations (PR) helps reinforce your marketing. It makes your advertising work better. It can’t guarantee 100-percent control over content, display, position and frequency, as does advertising. But what it lacks in frequency, PR can make up for in reach. PR can deliver the product/service message through a variety of media that could never be included in the most lavish advertising plan.

Sound PR is an integral part of maintaining a successful business. Competition for customers is keen. Having a successful business depends on properly building a solid foundation through effective media, customer and employee relations.

Successful media relations – nurtured over time through relationships with media contacts – can help establish an ongoing, positive awareness of your company and the products and/or services it provides. It can inform and excite customers and employees.

Third-party endorsement by the media sells integrity, quality and extraordinary service like no advertisement can. PR has the power to persuade the public.

Waiting to be discovered can take quite a toll on your company. It can mean lost revenue. Your company competes with thousands of others. The main difference is whether your PR program is established by default, or as a result of careful planning.

Well-organized programs and your commitment to a communications plan does make a difference. The payoff can be tremendous.