How to Effectively Participate in Media Outreach

Collaborating with the media on behalf of a client is essential for public relations professionals looking to generate excellent campaign results for their team and clients. Whether you are looking to air a PSA on a radio station or invite media to attend an event, you will need to capture the interest of several reporters. Thus, with tight deadlines and reporters not having too much time to listen, this tends to put a lot of pressure on what you should say.

To uniquely position your message, you need to strategically devise a pitch which gets you straight to the point while maintaining the reporter’s interest. In order to effectively participate in media outreach and prevent the risk of completely losing a reporter’s interest, below are three helpful tips:

  1. Be Confident. With tight deadlines and a strong determination to get as many reporters involved as possible sometimes you immediately want to pick up the phone. Yet, as eager as you may feel, you need to take a step back and make sure you are 100% knowledgeable and confident with what it is you need to convey. Providing reporters with incomplete or inaccurate information will not only hurt your first impression but also damage your credibility. Also, a lack of confidence may take time away from getting the message across, as you may only have a few seconds to speak. To help boost your confidence, one helpful tip is to develop a script and having it right in front of you. Without becoming too dependent on the script, you will be able to reference it just in case you start to feel nervous. Remember, sounding confident while participating in media outreach will improve your chances of gaining the reporter’s full attention in the few seconds you have with them.
  2. Stick With The 5Ws. Having only a few seconds to speak can feel overwhelming, as you wish for more time to explain why the reporter should consider taking an interest in your message. As much as you hope for more time, keep in mind of how many pitches these reporters have heard before yours. A helpful tip to remember is always address the 5Ws:
    Who is your client?
    What are they doing?
    When is this?
    Where the reporter should go? (if you are promoting an event)
    Why should this reporter take interest?

    Utilizing the 5W’s in your media outreach plan will help you speak about the most important pieces of information to the reporter in a matter of 30-seconds or less.

  3. Time It Just Right.  As you begin going down your media list, there will be a time when you face the challenge of no one answering the phone. This creates the difficulty of confirming whether the reporter is aware of what you sent earlier in that day through email. A helpful tip is keeping track of when you last attempted to call them and then change the time of when you reach out again. For example, if you notice no one answering in the morning, try calling in the afternoon. By adjusting your media outreach schedule, you will improve your chances of contacting everyone on your list.

Overall, media outreach is one of the many important components of executing a successful campaign for your client. By following these tips, you can improve your media outreach skills and share your message with the media in a matter of 30-seconds or less.

To view an example how good media outreach has benefited R&J’s clients, visit:

https://www.randjsc.com/our-work/case-studies/

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About Amanda Emmer

As a public relations intern for R&J Strategic Communications, Amanda provides support to the real estate, technology, nonprofit and healthcare teams in all things public relations, assisting with everything from industry research to press releases. Amanda graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and a minor in Legal Studies from Ithaca College. Amanda possesses a passion for learning new things and participating in professional development related activities.

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