Media Relations: Not Rocket Science But There is a Science to It

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.12.20 PMMedia coverage.  More often than not, our firm is employed to secure print, broadcast and online stories with local, regional and national – even international – media outlets.  And, while our success record is incredibly high, certain realities ensure the journey from idea to coverage is often challenging and always interesting but rarely a sure thing.  Thinking about hiring a PR firm for this? Read on.

There is a method to the “madness” that should be followed and understood.  Relationships, first of all, are vital.  These are built over time and on a core foundation of trust and mutual respect. With producers, assignment desks, news directors, reporters, columnists and writers.  As important is having a story that is truly newsworthy.  It’s our job to possess those alliances and from there to package stories in the right way for the right media at the right time. And if it is not a news story? It’s our responsibility to tell you that too.

It is also our job to know media beats and areas of focus, especially in our own backyard. In auto-centric Detroit, the New York Times bureau covers automotive. So too the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.  The Associated Press here, meanwhile, watches auto closely while also having a reporter focused on other statewide news and happenings. Want a non-auto story from those outlets? We know to look outside the marketplace as well as to other news holes inside that might work.

Timing, further, can be everything, in particular in the resource-challenged world of today’s news media.  You can have the greatest story in the world along with the best media relationships. Yet, if the resources aren’t there (i.e. reporters handling multiple beats with the inability to get to your story at that particular time) or, more likely, there is breaking news, your idea might not find a home at that moment. It’s not fatalism, its reality.  It is also why you must be flexible. Perhaps a media outlet doesn’t have time to come to you.  You must be willing also to come to them, including in-studio or on-set.

Forever proactive, appropriately aggressive with respect earned, our firm always strives for results and doing what’s right and best as we collaborate with our clients. That includes a tremendous expertise in how today’s media works and thinks, culled from decades working with and within that machine (and it’s evolving daily).  Ultimately, it is essential that those who work with us understand this dynamic, trust us, respect us and our work and let us do our job.  We’re not going to tell a banker, an attorney, an automotive engineer how to do theirs. Acceptable? Make sense? Need a PR firm? Let’s talk. We look forward to it.