media relations

You know the old saw, “If you want to have friends, you have to be friendly.” The same could be said for brands interested in connecting with media sources and building relationships in the hopes of generating earned media. The key component of this interaction is understanding the way to go about interacting with the media.

Accept They Have Deadlines

Reporters have deadlines, it’s the defining foundation in their line of work. These deadlines don’t care about your schedule, your excuses, or your personal challenges. The presses, literal or metaphorical, are running, and the pages have to be filled on time. You might assume that the world of digital reporting and web media has more flexibility. You would be wrong. Sure, they don’t have press run timelines to hit, but they still have deadlines. And, of course, the internet is a world of immediacy. Being first matters, so the sooner you can get compelling and timely content to a source, the better your chances of earning that media presence. If you’re not going to make it, let someone know as soon as you do. You may miss this chance, or you may be able to work something out. Regardless, that reporter will remember and appreciate the integrity. Just as they will remember the sources who let them down.

Perfect the Connection

Your subject line and lead are the most important aspects of your pitch. While the whole pitch needs to be good, approach your pitch as if the reporter is drowning in them. Especially if you are just beginning to establish a relationship with that outlet. Now, I’m not telling you to be “creative,” here, because that word is far too subjective. You are much better served to be topical, and to approach a reporter or outlet that is looking for what you are offering. So, instead ALL CAPS, hyperbole, and clickbait, give them what they are actually looking for. Not only do you increase your odds of your message being read, you will establish trust.

Be Persistent but Not Assumptive

Reporters owe you nothing. Sure, a response may be polite, but when they are receiving huge numbers of submissions every day, they may not have time for that courtesy. So, there you are, on the other end of what feels like a one-sided conversation. You need to know if your efforts connected, so there’s no harm in checking. Just don’t be a pest. Follow up – once – using multiple contact points. Then wait. Seriously, give them time. If you don’t hear back, they probably passed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again with another story, at another time. They’re probably just not interested in this one at this time.

Timing is Vital

“When” you send your story or press release is just as important as “what” you send. Study your media choices. Look at their publishing trends and cross reference those with trends and current events. Is your topic timely? Does it connect or allude to anything hot happening at the moment?

Find the Best Fit

Don’t just send your content to everyone and hope someone bites. Take the time to research media outlets that are looking for the kind of content you produce or stories about the products or services you represent. A media outlet that works great for someone else may not be for you, and vice versa. Look at industry-related options, local options, boutique and niche publications. You want your message to go to the right audience, so research accordingly.

How have you used these tips to be successful in your marketing and PR efforts? Is there anything else you might ad?

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.