Not all media relations masters are created equal. Many people claim to be great at media relations, but not everyone truly is.
Although many would-be media relations careerists enter the sector each year, not everyone manages to successfully navigate the muddy waters and make the most of the possibilities that the field presents. In truth, talented masters possess several specific attributes of which the average pro lacks. They know how to fight calamity, grasp opportunities, pitch stories, maintain a positive image, cultivate strong media relations and build strategy.
Fortunately, the qualities that every top-notch media relations master possesses can be learned. If you’re new to the profession, or just simply looking for tips to improve, then this post is for you.
Read on to learn about some of the traits that can make the difference between a media relations rep and a media relations master.
A hunger for learning
There once was a time when press releases were cranked out on typewriters (I personally remember this), then photocopied and posted – yes, posted – to media organisations. PR has changed a bit since those days, and the industry continues to change at an incredible rate.
All media relations masters have an appetite to learn new things in the industry. If you want to be the master in this profession, then you must be willing to absorb all kinds of new information and skills in order to succeed in the evolving media landscape. At MediaHQ, we have an efficient and effective way of sending out a press release to up to 300 contacts at a time. You are also able to schedule press releases, relieving you of any stress or panic if you have a busy schedule. This is all done in the click of a button – post office who?
A creative streak
Media relations is mostly about effort – making the calls, following up, networking, meeting, pitching, pushing, promoting. There’s plenty of legwork in this field, but there’s also a need for bright, brilliant strategic ideas – and there always will be. Creativity is the base on which all winning media campaigns are built on and it’s a trait shared by all successful media relations masters, young and old.
This is one tenant that will always ring true for all media relations masters. It’s closely linked to the previous point – creativity. Fantastic stories draw people in and stick with them long after they’ve moved on to something else. It is great to have a tale to tell, but a great storyteller can make almost any narrative seem interesting. Our sister company, All Good Tales is a master in this. It helps organisations to embrace the golden age of storytelling by equipping them with the tools, skills and strategies to tell great stories.
All media relations masters know their customer base as this helps them to determine the best types of stories to tell. Even so, not every tale will do. Having a nose for news and what consumers want to hear will help drive client coverage.
Even when pitching journalists, keeping the audience in mind is key to them. They clearly state their news hook. If journalists can’t determine what your news is, how can you expect them to want to cover it? At MediaHQ, we always stress that pitches should also be conversational. Media relations masters don’t use jargon, they know that it will prevent them from connecting with the journalist they are targeting and the audience they hope to reach.
Target the right people
A good media relations person will find the journalists and publications that are most likely to report on news within their specific clients’ industries. PR masters know who’s covering what and don’t waste their time trying to talk to the wrong people.
A targeted media database makes it easy to find relevant journalists to connect with. For example, At MediaHQ, we currently have over 6,500 media contacts on our database that media relations masters can engage and rub shoulders with. All the contacts are categorised under different lists covering a number of media outlets and specialised interests.
The only attitude toward media relations that will fail you is this one; ‘Ah it’s grand, it’s just a job. Hopefully I’ll find something better soon.’ If you’re stuck with that notion, then nothing we have to offer you will help. In order to be a master in this field, you need to tap into that zeal that powers your drive for continuous learning.
This isn’t a comprehensive list – there are many ways to improve as a media relations pro in-order to land more coverage. Curious? Give Gaye a call at 01 254 1845 or click here.