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5 Media Relations Tips to Improve Your Bottom Line

Relate like a pro!

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PUBLIC RELATIONS AND media outreach are an important part of the overall marketing mix. When an approach is developed and executed thoughtfully, it can lead to media coverage that delivers real value and results. This can range from enhancing your reputation to increasing visibility among your target audiences to generating store traffic and sales. Here are five easy tips that will help you be successful.

1. Position Yourself as A Resource

Become a trusted resource to journalists. To secure media coverage for your business in a local print, online or TV outlet, first demonstrate the potential value you can provide and don’t come across as too salesy. Approach your pitches from an angle that benefits them. A good starting point is asking yourself, what can you offer that a reporter needs or wants?

2. Build Relationships

Invest time in building and nurturing relationships with journalists who contribute to the publications you want to be featured in. Be personable and sincere, and remember media relationships are built on trust and anticipating their needs. If you find a way to make a journalist’s job easier, you are on track to building a mutually beneficial relationship.

3. Personalize Your Approach

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Get to know the journalists and their content. Research the handful of ideal outlets where you’d like coverage. Find the names of editors, their interests and the types of stories they publish. This research will allow you to customize pitches that will resonate. Remember, each outlet is unique, so a cookie-cutter approach won’t cut it and can end up hurting your credibility and chances for future coverage.

4. Utilize Editorial Calendars

Editorial calendars are a must-read and a great place to learn about the type of topics and themes that journalists are looking for year-round. The calendar is a great way to get a better understanding on what news to pitch when, so it’s relevant and timely. You can dedicate a few hours to doing the research at the beginning of the year and compile all the information in a spreadsheet, and visit this list for inspiration and reference throughout the year.

5. Select the Right Communication Tactic

Two popular communication tactics for garnering media attention are press releases and pitches. Traditional press releases are still relevant in many situations. For example, media outlets will often publish a press release verbatim if it is an unbiased account of relevant news. That said, a well-crafted and thoughtful pitch has the opportunity to be just as relevant. While the story is not completely written with a pitch, it has enough substance to give the journalist inspiration and guide him in the right direction.

These tips will have you thinking and acting like a pro. Soon, you’ll see how beneficial PR can be in your larger marketing plan to drive real business objectives.

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Kristen Levine is regarded as one of the foremost pet marketing experts in the U.S. with more than 25 years of experience. She’s developed a Pet Credible Influencer Program for brands and is a senior vice president at FWV Fetching, an integrated marketing firm that services pet-focused companies, veterinary businesses and consumer brands. Contact her at: klevine@fwv-us.com

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