The days of just sending a press release to your local newspaper, business journal, TV and radio stations are long gone. Yes, these outlets are still critically important and reach key audiences; however, today’s fractured and diverse media landscape and the proliferation of digital and online media provide companies and organizations even more opportunities – and challenges – to tell their stories. Blogs, podcasts, Facebook Live videos and Twitter chats are just some examples of ways companies can maximize exposure for a variety of subjects ranging from new products and services to cutting-edge research or thought leadership.
Here are six ways to take advantage of these new opportunities to tell your organization’s story:
1. RESEARCH THE EVER-EVOLVING DIGITAL AND ONLINE MEDIA.
Taking some time to research new media options will be time well spent. Look for blogs and podcasts that cover issues of importance to your industry and your target audience. Be careful, however, to thoroughly vet the outlets, as some are more credible and have a larger following than others.
2. THINK VISUALLY AND BEYOND THE PRESS RELEASE.
Digital and online media outlets are hungry for visual content to complement copy. Even print publications and radio stations now look for photos, graphics and video to use on their online versions. It is not uncommon now for a print reporter to request video that can be used in an online feature on the outlet’s website. By creating a total package for a media outlet, you may increase the chances of getting your story told.
3. DON’T FORGET DIGITAL OPTIONS WITH MAINSTREAM MEDIA.
Local and national mainstream media outlets understand the value and need to connect digitally with their audiences by providing offerings beyond print. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal host blogs on a number of topics, including business, law, economics, politics, health, style and education. And Forbes recently launched “The Interview Podcast” that features interviews with “the most significant leaders of our day.”
4. BE OPEN TO DIFFERENT WAYS TO TELL YOUR STORY.
Think differently. Be open to telling your story in new ways through new media. For example, when Dix & Eaton worked with partners to promote the city of Cleveland during the Republican National Convention, we worked with the social media editors of national media outlets. This enabled us to place stories for clients on CBS This Morning’s Snapchat, Facebook Live and Instagram feed. It also made us more successful in our efforts because we were thinking visually. Additionally, we recently arranged a Facebook Live interview for the CEO of Diebold Nixdorf with representatives from NYSE when the company rang the opening bell.
5. BE PREPARED TO MAKE YOUR CASE INTERNALLY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA OUTREACH.
Digital and online media outlets can still be unknown territory for many executives who don’t have exposure to them on a daily basis. So, communications executives need to be prepared to encounter some level of skepticism. Be prepared with quantitative data, such as the number of unique visitors to a website, total followers on Instagram or likes on Facebook. Also, be sure to stay up to speed on the latest best practices by reading PR and marketing trade outlets and talking with others in the field.
6. LEVERAGE THE COVERAGE YOU GENERATE.
Earned media efforts can only go so far in today’s media landscape, so incorporating paid, owned and shared efforts can help leverage your coverage. Digital and online placements are easily shareable, so before you generate coverage, develop a strategy on how and where you will leverage it. This could include sharing it through your social media accounts, or sharing it directly with key stakeholders, such as investors, customers, employees and recruits. For more information on this, see my colleague Megan Stinn’s recent blog post on “5 turnkey ways to amplify your media placement.”
In short, taking a step back to research new media options, think differently and be innovative with the materials that you share with media will maximize your chances for expanded and enhanced coverage. If you would like to learn more about our media relations practice and how we can help, or feel free to email me or call me at 216.241.3027.