Media relations: 4 reasons you need a strategyIt’s a common pitfall made by many organizations and businesses. What is it? It’s having no media relations guide. Instead, dealing with media is left to a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach. That’s risky. Especially, when your organization’s reputation is on the line every time a media outlet reports on it.

A media relations guide, customized to your organization, is an essential marketing tool. It becomes your template for all future dealings with media. It will also arm you with tactics and strategies to maximize opportunities to promote your organization or business and manage your reputation and public profile.

4 reasons your organization needs a media relations guide:

1.    It’s another must-have component to your overall marketing initiatives. If you have ever purchased a full-page, half-page or quarter-page ad in a newspaper,.or a 30-second spot on radio or television, you know the high-cost of these avenues. By contrast, a media relations strategy can give you cost-effective promotion. It won’t replace your existing marketing initiatives. Instead, look at media relations as being a complementary value-added, yet budget-friendly, strategy. Having one news story or feature on major media can drive significant public interest in your direction.

2.    Increase your profile in your target community. When you successfully use media relations you increase your profile and thereby raise your potential for being a go-to resource (either for future media exposure, or as a go-to destination for consumers). Why do you see the same ‘experts’ appearing for comment on newscasts? It’s because these experts have used successful media relations strategies to build their profile as go-to resources for reporters.

3.    Building relationships with reporters pays off in the long run. Reporters don’t like to admit it, but few reporters like to ‘burn’ good sources. That means you increase the chances of having positive spin. Plus, reporters will often be far more careful to get facts straight when dealing with those with whom they have relationships.

4.    Crisis management. If you have formed a relationship with media, you will be better prepared to handle a crisis when it hits. Trying to develop that relationship for the first time, when a crisis emerges is too late. At that stage, you’re just a source to a reporter. Having a relationship in place well beforehand, puts you on far better footing when a crisis happens. If you have developed a good relationship, you will already have credibility with a reporter. That can be a huge help in times of crisis. A good relationship also means that media will have you or your company in their archives. Media return to their archives over and over again as a resource for future stories. A background archive of positive stories will serve you well when you need it most.