© Front Page PR
How to Use Media Relations to Build
Long-Term Relationships with the Press
Cheap, Low Cost PR Firms
When most people think of PR, they usually think of writing a press release that will magically generate a landslide of free publicity. To meet this demand they are lots of PR firms popping up that are offering to put out press release for a cheap price. These are also the types of PR firms who stalk unsuspecting crowdfunding campaigns on crowdfunding platforms and pitch them for their business via the feedback comment sections. Anyone that has to troll crowdfunding sites for business is less than a reputable firm. In most cases, after using cheap services crowdfunders are always disappointed because the press release did not generate as much press coverage as they were promised.
Professional Press Rooms
The reason that true, professional PR firms charge a lot of money for their services is because they know that doing a good job requires a lot of work. If you most at a corporate press rooms compared to 100% of crowdfunding profiles right now on other crowdfunding platforms, there is a good reason why big companies and their PR pros generate a lot of press. They are very successful because they make it easy for reporters to cover their companies by providing a fully stocked online press kit.
Professional Media Relations
Even more important than an online press kit finding a crowdfunding PR firm has a team of seasoned media relations specialists. Building relationships with reporters takes a long time and many years of experience to learn what the media do and do not like. Understanding a reporter’s editorial environment is critical. Just because a reporter covered a story on a music crowdfunding campaign does not mean that the same reporter will cover a crowdfunding campaign on fashion. Magazines are like circles, squares and triangles. You cannot pitch a square story to a triangle magazine.
The simple way to find the right reporters to cover any given subject matter is to do Google searches on “Music Magazines” & “Music Blogs” or “Fashion Magazines” & Fashion Blogs.” Once you have built a database of magazines, then go to each one and do a search on crowdfunding to find reporters inside each magazine that cover crowdfunding campaigns. Try doing it manually this way and you will quickly find out that this takes a lot of time. Most online publications also have a masthead posted that lists the their reporters, their contact information and the beats they cover.
Media Relations Databases
Most reputable PR professionals have much more efficient and streamlined approach to building PR databases. Using services like Bulldog Reporter, Cision, Meltwater, MuckRack, and Vocus cost thousands of dollars per year in subscription fees, but they are worth it. These tools allow PR specialists to sort media databases by subject matter, beat, location, and media outlet types. In addition, these companies provide a wide variety of social media and monitoring tools. Skilled PR folks use these PR databases to send personalized pitches to each reporter based on the last several stories they written. Providing well-researched media pitches requires a lot of time and effort, but it is worth every penny. This is known as the rifle approach because they are using a special silver bullet for each reporter. Reporters need good stories just as much as PR people need ink. The trick is to pitch them the right story at the right time.
Press Release Wire Services
Another extremely powerful tool is using a professional-grade news wire service. There are tons of cheap wire services out there that offer to issue press releases for less than $100, but once again, you get what you pay for. These cheap wire services are what the cheap PR firms are using. Instead pick one of these professional news wire services: BusinessWire, MarketWire, PRNewswire and PRWeb. News wires are known as the shotgun approach because when a press release hits the wire it goes everywhere based on their way it is written. As long as the press release is written with the correct SEO in mind, it will be found by anyone that has a Google alert set for those SEO keywords.
Another useful tool for up and coming executives is to take a media training class from a company like CommCore. These classes teach executives how develop message maps, which are very sophisticated FAQ sheets; how to lead reporters down a path of predetermined speaking points; as well as how to redirect their way out of difficult interview questions.
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Mr. Hoskins is a serial entrepreneur and has been helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns for 25-years. He is positive that Crowdfunding will empower all Americans to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and dedication to planning a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign.
Tags: Media Relations