The media’s job is to tell a story using accurate, useful and timely information that will connect with their audience. Positive collaboration with the media plays a significant role in enhancing public image, increasing revenue, and further solidifying an organization's leadership in a specific industry. However, media attention can be a mixed blessing. Once you put yourself (and your company) out there, you need to be ready with magnetic messaging and tight talking points to avoid becoming a target.
Think of media coverage as a catalyst that helps companies not only boost their image, but also their bottom line. Well thought out communication plans and strategically placed articles can position you as a thought leader in your industry, as well as help you stay engaged with your target audience. However, if media attention is developed too soon, it can become a distraction and diminish credibility.
Here are four things to think about before you begin generating media attention:
Ensure your company is ready for the attention media generates. Make sure your employees, website and resources are ready for the traffic spike a media feature can bring. Is your site equipped to handle the increased traffic or will the user have a negative experience?
Understand your target audience and why you are trying to influence them with media coverage. Who is your audience? What do you want them to do for you? Every company wants to be featured in top publications and news segments, but getting your company placed in an outlet that doesn’t reach your target audience may lead to “empty impressions,” which will ultimately not benefit your business.
Identify key spokespeople and conduct media training. A spokesperson exists as an authority on the company and builds credibility by confidently relaying industry knowledge and key messages. Media training is extremely important and can help your spokesperson develop the skills necessary to get your message across concisely and with impact. An effective spokesperson will have the media returning again and again for expert commentary on your area of expertise.
Have your media kit ready. A media kit is a collection of information about your company that includes bios, photos, a company profile, frequently asked questions, and other relevant information. This provides reporters with easy access to important information that they can reference as they develop their story. Be sure to keep your media kit updated.