lauren March 5, 2013 | 01:00:32

Becoming A Media Source

When it comes to client work, one of the things we always ask ourselves is, “How can we help our client shine?” This is especially true if the client is in a less-than-sexy industry. However, a PR pro’s dream is for the tables to flip and the media to approach us. It’s not that hard to achieve but does require your client to build and polish their “mediability”.

Be sure to keep the following tips in mind if you’re trying to position your client as a go-to media source.

Write in quotes, speak in sound bites: One of the smartest ways to ensure your client a spot on a journalist’s speed dial is by offering quotes that can easily be injected into a story, whether it’s about your client or a larger issue pertinent to their industry. The same can be said for broadcast media. Providing strong, clear sound bites during a broadcast interview will usually earn a spot in a segment and be considered for future pieces.

Create original content: Building on the above, work with your client to create original, useful content that informs and entertains. This can be as simple as maintaining a blog of industry musings, or guest-blogging to show your client’s opinion on relevant topics. A journalist doing research on industry trends may find it a treasure-trove of information.

Consider indirect industries: Your client’s work affects more than just their direct industry, so leverage your client’s fresh perspective to less-than-obvious sectors. For example, our client, Sleepy’s is currently advocating a change of Daylight Saving Time: Not only is this a sleep issue, but a health, safety and political issue. How many times have you seen a bed retailer on Politico?

Add their profile to ProfNet: ProfNet is an awesome tool that PR people use to connect their clients with journalists writing in a specific field, but why not be more proactive? Create an “expert” profile for your client and watch journalists flock to you for more information.

Bring on media training: For clients less familiar with the media, media training can be a very attractive option. Depending on how intense training needs to be, clients can be prepped by agency staff or a hired media trainer.

Don’t be afraid to carpe diem (or seize the opportunity): In a perfect world, every media request would come with ample time to prepare, analyze the journalist and outlet, and rehearse sample questions. However, the news is unpredictable and being flexible is a must. Some opportunities are presented in a very short window of time, so proving that your client can provide a quality interview on a moment’s notice will make them a go-to source for breaking news.
Build relationships: This is a no-brainer, as it’s the backbone of the PR industry, but it’s essential to create relationships with people. If you’re able to connect with a journalist and build a great rapport with them, they will not only be happy to share your client’s news, but look to you for story material in the future.
What other tips do you have that bring the media to you? Be sure to leave in the comments.

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