I recently had the pleasure of discussing the merits of PR, or more specifically, media relations, with a team of PR jaded fundraisers who were really concerned with missing PR opportunities as they were very active in creating material.
“How do we achieve better media exposure?” they asked. “What are you sending to the media” I replied. One by one they discussed their media relations efforts, and to my surprise they were impressive.
It was obvious that every single one of them put a huge amount of effort into each and every story created. The material they had was a PR dream, no problems looking for an angle here!
So what was the problem you ask? They were massively missing PR opportunities. Although very good at putting the message out, they didn’t have the time to follow it through, no follow-up, no discussion with journalists, and even worse, no time to respond to journalists when they made contact.
They were missing an important aspect of the PR process, and missing opportunities! Here are three tips to ensure you don’t miss those all-important opportunities:
A TV crew made contact with the fundraisers and wanted to attend an event but they were ignored because of lack of time and resource to manage them. The TV crew would have moved on to the next story, but what do you think they will do when they receive the next story with an invitation to attend? Most likely ignore it! Being reactive is just as important as being proactive!
Time and resource is the key. If you haven’t the time to proactively interact with the media then adjust your expectations. Many people play the numbers game with the media, simply adopting a shotgun approach to story distribution in the hope a certain percentage use it. This is a dangerous game, aside of no control; there is no purpose, so how can you gauge success? If you haven’t the time or resource, make life easier and select no more than a handful of media contacts to engage with – a simple phonecall, or quick email could be all it needs for their interest.
It’s wise to cherry pick which stories are shared with the media. It’s an absolute waste of time preparing and sharing numerous stories with the media on a weekly or monthly basis, in fact even one story a week is too much. Its information overload and your stories will be ignored until one that is relevant, timely or topical hits their inbox. It’s much better to develop one good story with your media in mind, this way it is targeted and relevant with a better chance of exposure.
By making small adjustments to your working routine, understanding your media, and identifying appropriate stories – your opportunities shouldn’t pass you by.
What pr opportunities are you missing?