When you read an item of news about a business what are you most interested in? The collection of assets and contracts that makes up the legal commercial entity or the people that own and/or work for it?
Nobody hears about a company falling into liquidation and thinks, “That’s such a shame for all those beautifully worded customer contracts, and with Christmas just around the corner too….”
The media, and their audience, are primarily interested in people. Any business that wants to get noticed needs to get personal.
Building a personal profile in the media will, by extension, increase awareness of your business. It can also, for those who might not currently sit at the top of their organisations, be of benefit from a career perspective: your relationship with the media is an asset that should be valued by existing and future employers.
Over the coming weeks and months Alpha Public Relations will look at a number of ways in which professionals and businesspeople can develop and capitalise on relationships with journalists. Subjects that will be covered include:
- Identifying your key media
- Getting to know, understand and develop long-term relationships with journalists
- Developing a nose for news
- Not being boring
- Reality check one: understanding your own value
- Reality check two: proceeding with caution
- Writing “expert” features
- Providing commentary in editorial features
- Providing timely comment on breaking news stories
- Becoming a trusted source
If you already work with a good PR agent or in-house department they should be able to advise you on much of this. In these cases the forthcoming series of articles will help you get the most out of your PR representatives and understand what they need from you to do the best possible job.
I look forward to sharing these ideas with you over the coming weeks, and to hearing your feedback and stories as you, hopefully, put some of these tips into practice. In the meantime I will leave you with some succinct advice I once heard given to members of what used to be called the Institute of Financial Planning by Natalie Breen of Citywire:
- Be available
- Be interesting
- Be on the record
Follow these three principles and you will stand out head and shoulders above your peers.
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