There are two kinds of organizations today when it comes to media relations and communications. Here’s how to recognize each one:

1) Organizations stuck in the 1980s:

  • They consider the press release the major tool to reach media and audiences
  • They fire off press release after press release every year and hope the media will publish/air the ‘news’ so that it reaches audiences
  • They rely on an annual cycle of the same press releases, pulled from a stock file, with maybe just a few tweaks and adjustments to dates and times

2) Organizations embracing the new realities of how audiences are reached in 2014:

  • These organizations may issue press releases, but they do much more
  • They have annual communications plans that keep the momentum growing with new ideas, strategies and concrete targets/purposes to measure effectiveness
  • They use social media to build their own ‘earned’ audiences so that they can directly reach them with news and measure response and engagement
  • They use social media to actively grow members of their audiences into becoming brand ambassadors on social media
  • They craft well-written journalism-style stories and take photos and then submit publish-ready ‘news’ content to media that is starving for content due to staff shortages
  • They cultivate relationships with news media and journalists and regularly pitch story ideas and provide constructive feedback on stories so that their organization remains top-of-mind with journalists and accuracy in reporting is maintained