PR professionals have seen a shift in the media landscape coming for quite some time. We are all too familiar with the difficulties of generating earned media for clients due to shrinking newsrooms and the 24-hour news cycle. We are also aware that not everything is “media worthy,” and it is our job to set those expectations and encourage a fully integrated approach to media that includes paid opportunities.
Still, one thing has remained the same - public relations is still about telling a great story.
All that has changed is the way in which that story is told.
So that begs the question - Does media relations still work?
The simple answer is yes, but we must look beyond just earned opportunities and customize our stories for the recipient and for the outlet for which they’re writing. Nothing will kill a media campaign like generic pitches or mass pitching.
Writers have a tough job, so let's make it easier by delivering relevant, timely, and interesting stories.
Here are a few other things to consider for your next media campaign.
A Fully Integrated Approach
Landing coverage in a credible outlet still holds a lot of weight for a brand, and PR teams are now recommending a variety of strategic workarounds that still include an earned approach at the core.
Tactics like incorporating paid placements, amplifying content, and integrating SEO and social media have driven the traditional media relations approach further and can do more for a brand than just landing a feature on a media platform. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the box!
Strategic Use of Influencer Relations
Less than a decade ago, influencers were few and far between, and influencer marketing was an unregulated and unexplored business market. It was commonplace to send products in exchange for free coverage - but these days are behind us.
Today, influencer relations and campaigns are integral to PR strategies worldwide. The influencer marketing industry has grown exponentially in just a few short years. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, “The market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020. In 2021, it soared to $13.8 billion, indicating steady growth. This year, the market is projected to expand to a whopping $16.4 billion industry.”
As the market has grown, consumers' trust in influencers has grown as well, making marketers realize that we MUST pay for this exposure and treat influencers like business partners.
A great way to differentiate your story and ensure you can generate some level of earned coverage is to say something unique that outlets want to cover. We encourage all of our clients to find the whitespace and identify what is compelling about their product or venue. We always ask ourselves: Who will care about this?
We invest in research wherever possible so that we can find statistics and data points that intrigue writers and audiences. For Example, “82% of consumers agree these suncare products are a must for 2022.”
Work with organizations like Caddle to develop this type of research and make it part of our pitches to amplify the chances of receiving coverage.
As the media landscape changes, so must our approach. We have to understand what people care about and how they want to receive information moving forward. A good media campaign is not reactive, but rather it requires a thoughtful strategy and a deep understanding of what is timely, relevant and interesting to our target demographic. Once we start to look at media relations as an art form, we can leverage writers and outlets to tell our stories, but we need to give it thought - not just generic pitches.
Blue Door is a public relations, digital marketing, and design agency based in Toronto. We pride ourselves on being a modern agency with a sophisticated approach to marketing. As an award-winning agency, we have earned the trust of major organizations across the country in virtually every sector from hotels to healthcare. Check out our Services Page to learn more. Is your business in need of a brand but not sure where to start? View our capabilities deck here and connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 855-854-5594