If your media relations efforts are not working, perhaps it’s because you continue to manage it the old way, when we have so many new tools and resources to share our stories.
With the advent of social media, we no longer have to depend on gatekeepers to decide if they want to tell our story or not. We are no longer limited to the top 4 or 5 publications or networks in our industry to share our story for us and we don’t have to rely solely on phone, fax or even email to reach out the journalists and reporters who might care about our story.
Here are some ways that social media helps to manage successful media relations campaigns.
Social Media Helps You Tell Your Story
Before you even begin your outreach, make sure your story is newsworthy and that’s it’s something your audience will care about. One good way to make sure your story is newsworthy is to do a search on Google, Facebook or even Twitter for the topics you want to speak to and see how they structure the story. You will notice two things: the story is not a sales pitch and in most cases the focus or the message that you want to put forward is secondary to the real news. Always start with a good news hook to capture the reader’s attention and then find a creative way to build your story into that.
Social Media Helps You Share your story widely
Like I mentioned before, we are no longer limited to sharing our story in top industry publications, we now have bloggers who are willing to share our stories, we can create our own news network of people and businesses who share our interests, we can even have our own online radio and television show using sites like Blog Talk Radio and YouTube. There are probably hundreds of free and paid press release distribution sites, which are not necessarily the best medium for getting your story picked up by major media, but they work very well to boost your SEO and bring you to the top of the Google search. And let’s not forget we still have our traditional distribution methods via newswire and any media connections we happen to create. More on media connections below.
Social Media Gets You Connected
Back in the day, we would call journalists and email or fax our press release to them, but social networks have opened up new ways to get connected to the people who can really help us share our stories. Find out who the top journalists and reporters or editors or producers are in your industry, seek them out on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and connect with them. Follow their stories, comment on their posts, share relevant info with them and share their stories with your own following. It might take time, but they’ll notice you and begin to see you as a credible and relevant source as long as your story and messages fall in line with their interests.
Social Media IS Media Relations
Now when you think of media relations, I want you to broaden your mind beyond print and broadcast. Remember social media is part of media relations and you should always find new and creative ways to include social media in your media relations mix.