A great TV story about your business’s latest charity effort runs on the 10 p.m. news. The local business journal publishes a feature on your growth strategy. The trade publication your partners read runs an item on your latest product.
Who doesn’t want that?
As an Orlando PR firm, we are no stranger to gaining media attention for our clients. In fact, earned media placements are one of the most common requests we get—and we’ve seen what they can do for a client’s reputation and reach.
Even so, there’s a big misconception with how these kinds of hits happen. Clients tend to expect that they will put out a press release and the media will come knocking. Sure, that happens sometimes (when it’s a good story, or we use our connections and skills to pitch media the right way). But often, media attention comes from being flexible. It comes from working a current event angle or building a relationships and reputations. And more often than not, it comes fast.
If clients aren’t prepared to make things happen, they might miss out on an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And nobody wants that.
Businesses who want to truly take advantage of media opportunities need to be ready. Below are a few steps you and your business can take to prepare now.
Nail your talking points
You know your elevator speech…right? CEOs and business leaders know what their company does, but you’d be surprised by how often they realize they can’t quite verbalize it. Before you take an interview with any media outlet, you need to be sure you can share your mission in a clear, concise way. Take some time to boil what you do down to just a few talking points, and be sure to share them with anyone who might handle media requests so your message is aligned.
Flag potential problems
Just like you want to know all the good things about your company, you’ll also want to do some introspection and identify any potential problems. Once in the public eye, anything and everything is fair game. If you can identify any tricky spots, you can be proactive in developing responses to any questions you might be asked about these things. This will help you avoid being caught off guard so you can mitigate any negative attention you might receive and position your company in the best light.
Identify a spokesperson
When time is of the essence, you need to know who’s stepping up. Identifying a spokesperson in advance allows that person to have time to complete the above steps. Be sure to choose a company leader who is comfortable in the role and who can confidently speak to the company’s mission. Your reputation rests in their hands.
Know your visual opportunities
It is important to not only tell a great story, but to show it. Words are a powerful and often essential aspect to telling your story, but there are many times a story will die without visuals. This is particularly important for TV media. Be prepared to offer visual opportunities to journalists. You should also start to build your media kit with high-resolution, professional photos of your company, including headshots for all executives, shots of important services or activities, and videos. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to get these, and often, if you can offer these assets, you can land a story that might otherwise be passed over.
Complete media training
Completing the above steps will take you far, but when you find yourself in front of a camera with a microphone in your face for the first time, it’s natural to freeze up. Completing media training can help you know the tips and tricks of the trade so you can feel comfortable and properly prepare for each individual interview.
How we can help
At Wellons Communications, our Florida PR agency is made up of former journalists and PR pros. We’ve been on both sides of the camera and notepad, so we know how to help you prepare and put your story in the best light.
We also understand how media works and can craft the right pitch to gain media interest in the first place.
Need some help? Call 407-339-0879 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and see what we can do to help you prepare for any media interest and news coverage that may come your way.