When you dreamed of being in public relations, you probably saw a vision of your clients chatting it up with reporters from The New York Times and The Wallstreet Journal. Rocketing your clients into the public eye is something that you should definitely strive for, but it can feel like pushing a boulder uphill sometimes. If you’re just starting out or you work in mostly niche industries, you need to make a plan of action to help your clients improve their public profiles. Keep reading to discover what you need to do to get your client’s attention from the mainstream media.
Use an Up-to-Date Media Database
In today’s digital landscape, you have to take advantage of the tools available to you, particularly in the form of media databases. Services such as Muck Rack and other digital public relations management tools offer a huge amount of benefits for your business. Some of the upsides of using a media database are:
- Save time researching journalists in your industry
- Discover journalists from all over the world
- Manage your list of media contacts easily
- Create reports about the progress of your press releases
Connect with the Right Journalists
It’s crucial that you connect with the right journalists if you want your efforts on behalf of your client to succeed. Using a database will allow you to develop a list of people who cover your client’s industry and related topics.
As part of your strategy, start by courting smaller publications that have a specific audience. It will make it easier for you to get the attention of a busy journalist if your niche matches up with theirs. Work those connections from the beginning of your career so that you have a solid track record to build on.
Build Relationships on Social Media
Don’t underestimate the power of social media to help you build key relationships with journalists and media houses. In this business, you have to actively engage online regularly. Follow the journalists who cover issues that your client can speak on and be a positive presence when they post on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
You can use social media to engage with your dream media houses. However, be very careful that you don’t come across as desperate or distracting.
Frame Your Client as an Expert
Journalists don’t need to talk to one random person about an important issue, but if your client is an expert in something, make sure that others know about it. The reason you work for your client is because they don’t have the skills to promote their own brand and identity, so take what you know about your client and make sure the world knows about it.
During the relationship-building phase when you are connecting with journalists at different publications, bring up the expertise of your client when it is appropriate and fits the topic of conversation. People who work in media will be more than happy to discover more experts in the industries they cover.
Focus on Authenticity and Identity
The best way to get your client’s profile raised in the mainstream media is by focusing on authenticity and identity. Now, this may not be the fastest way, but it will give you the results you want in the long run.
Authenticity matters to journalists. In order for a journalist to run a story, they have to care about it and immediately connect to the person behind the story. Journalists want to know who your client is deep down, not at face value. Work on developing pitches for your client that champion who your client is as a person, including what they care about and where they come from.
Lead With a Friendly Demeanor
In all your interactions with journalists and their assistants and those peoples’ assistants, make sure you lead with a friendly demeanor. Regardless of how busy you are or how many clients you have, you must always respect the people you work with. Journalists will talk amongst themselves, so it’s best to start off in the industry with a reputation for being friendly, professional, and respectful. It will take you far.
Bringing someone’s profile from the margins to the center of mainstream media attention is a herculean feat, but it can be done. Follow this strategy and keep working hard to see it through.