How to increase media engagement in six steps
If PR professionals want to increase media engagement (and who doesn’t?), they have to do more than crank out basic press releases and send them to every journalist they can find. With PR professionals far outnumbering journalists, it’s more important than ever to get the message right at the start.
Corporate communicators and PR professionals can increase media engagement by using these smart techniques: crafting better press releases, embracing brand journalism, adding value, attending events and creating connections.
1. Craft a better press release
Snappy and concise press releases win the day. Use short chunks of text, answer the who, what, when, where and why — and don’t include much beyond that. Keep the press release brief and stick to one subject. Interested journalists will respond to learn more, but they don’t have time to pore over multiple pages to find the point. Include low-res images with links to high-quality images to avoid hogging inbox resources. No one wants to work with the PR rep who fills up their email inboxes with several massive files. Don’t forget the contact info so a journalist knows where to turn if they have more questions.
2. Embrace brand journalism
Skip the dry, boring and bland corporate descriptions. If you want to increase your media engagement and draw in journalists, your content has to be interesting. Combine different forms of media, such as videos and images, to add depth. Mix up social network posts with videos and images sized for each specific network.
3. Add value
Don’t produce content for the sake of producing content. Every social media post, YouTube or Vimeo upload and blog post should build up to a compelling story. How do you make the story appealing? Find new ways to tell it. Pushing out blog post after blog post or LinkedIn post after tweet after Facebook post won’t go anywhere if the material lacks substance. Develop and share engaging content journalists can’t help but notice. Keep it real and relevant. Journalists are looking for shareability. Will your content supply it?
4. Attend events
Schedule events as you normally do, but this time, do more than simply badger journalists afterward with your five-minute pitch. Try to find common ground and build up from there. Journalists are busy. With a whole room of people to chat with, why should someone care about the brand you represent? Be memorable for being genuine and work at creating a better, stronger relationship with the reporters you meet.
5. Create connections
Be responsive. If a journalist reaches out for more information, provide the information fast. If you promised B-roll, images or a bio to a reporter during the event, follow through on those promises promptly. Only reach out during typical business hours to the journalist’s work email (not a personal email and not via social media). Provide better quotes and interviews when a journalist beckons, and you won’t only deepen the relationship — but you could be the person a journalist turns to when working on their next story. Connect with journalists you work with on Twitter and converse accordingly to craft a mutually beneficial relationship — just leave the corporate pitches off social media.
6. Use your resources
Never before have there been so many tools available for PR pros to use to tell the story of a brand. If you want journalists to engage with your media, you need to create the type of collaborative environment where it can happen. Pitch your story to the right outlets, follow up fast, and build those relationships. Put the journalist first to foster trust and you’ll have journalists eager to work with you and share your message.
Learn more about how other brands are increasing media engagement at www.presspage.com/customers.