Maximizing the Impact of Media Placements

At a former company, I created a highlight video of the year’s media hits to share with key executives and the board. At another company, my team would create a high-level report of media hits at the end of each quarter. It’s an easy way to further increase its visibility.

Why is this important?

Just because your company was featured in a story that made the front page of USA Today doesn’t mean that your key audiences, including colleagues, have seen it. It’s your job to call it to their attention.

The key is to send the clips of the stories to the people who matter. So who matters?

  1. Employees want to see the good work that is being done within their company. It often makes them proud that they work there.
  2. When appropriate share a well-placed media placement with your donors, who will view it as a sign that they are backing a winner.
  3. Customers like to see good press, too, because it validates their choice to do business with your company.
  4. Prospective students and their parents. If you are at a university, sharing the media successes validates that they have selected the right school.
  5. You may have select clips you would like to share with key legislators so you can highlight your company.

To further share your media placements, I recommend posting a summary and or links to the placements to share on your company’s website.

If you follow these recommendations you will be able to maximize the impact of your national news media placements.

Media Requests Provide Opportunity for Success

As someone who works in public relations, I frequently receive queries from reporters seeking a SME, or subject matter expert. Of course, like most in PR, I also have a ton of other responsibilities. I can choose to view the request as a burden. Or, I can choose to see it as an opportunity.

If I view it as a burden, I may simply provide the reporter with the name of a colleague who could answer the reporter’s questions. I also would provide one means to contact the individual.

This approach however, does not provide the reporter with enough information to decide whether it’s worth it to speak with the source. If I only provided an office number, the reporter may not even reach the expert.

I prefer to view the requests as opportunities and, as such, I want to ensure the success of the interview. Not only will this make my expert look good, it also reflects well on my organization. And the reporter will be more likely to contact us in the future for other stories that might benefit the organization.

Here are some things you can do to ensure a media request becomes a success:

  1. Contact your expert and confirm his or her expertise in the topic. Also find out if the expert is willing to speak with the reporter about the topic and has the time to do so.
  2. Take notes while speaking with your expert and compile a few sentences on the topic to share with the reporter. If the reporter is pressed for time, he often may use the quote verbatim in his story. The quote also provides the reporter with greater context.
  3. Find out the best times for the reporter to contact the expert. Also find out the best ways to do so. An office number is useless if the expert is not going to be in the office. If possible, provide an email and cell number (or at least a number that can be used after hours given that reporters have round-the-clock deadlines.)
  4. Respond quickly. Reporters are on deadline and often they will use the first source they reach for the story.

Do You Have the Skill Sets to be CEO?

If you have aspirations to be a CEO you will need to be both a strong connector and a strong communicator.


Both were cited by the “2013 Chief Executive Study” by Strategy&. The study also noted tomorrow’s CEOs will be increasingly female. CEO’s also will travel globally and be comfortable with technology.

Connecting and communicating are powerful skills to have no matter what position you hold. Here are some tips to enhance your skills in both areas.

Connecting

  1. Join a professional group and get to know the members. Share your knowledge with others just as you would hope they would do.
  2. Make a list of influential people within your sphere whom you should know. When possible, meet them at conferences or see if you can schedule coffee or lunch with them.
  3. At conferences, connect with others. Don’t simply collect business cards. Make a point to get to know the person’s areas of influence and something personal about them. Following the conference, if you come upon an article or item of interest that relates to them, share it with them.

Communicating

  1. One communication skill that many communicators should polish is their presentation skills. Consider taking a course in presentation skills. Lynda.com offers a monthly subscription for $25, and you can take all of the online courses you want, including presentation skills. Or, pay attention during a particularly good or bad presentation. What worked, what didn’t? Be sure to apply what you learn in your own presentation, whether it’s formal to a group or informal as you persuade your boss about a potential project.
  2. Use social media. USAToday holds Social Media Tuesdays in which staff can only share their stories on social media platforms. The purpose is to get the reporters to think like their readers, who are increasingly getting their news through social media sites and not the home page or front page, according to a July 14 article in The New York Times.
  3. Join Toastmasters to develop your public speaking skills. Public speaking usually occurs in a more formal setting with limited visuals. Presentation skills as noted above use PowerPoint or other visual aids to support your key messages.

Are you grooming yourself to be CEO of your own company? If not, you may want to enhance your connecting and communicating skills.

 

What’s Your More?

About a year ago, I was working too many hours. I had a huge project at work and there were too many tasks to get them all done. I often was one of the last to leave.

The man who cleaned our floor would frequently tell me I was working too many hours. Some evenings, he said he would swing back on his rounds and make sure I was leaving or, better yet, gone. I was fortunate that he helped encourage me to break a bad cycle.

The same thing happened to a friend of mine, who also was working too much. Her cleaning person stopped her one night and asked her,

“What’s your more?”

My friend looked at her, slightly confused.

The woman challenged her and asked her, “What do you want to be doing more of?”

From that night forward, my friend made a commitment to herself to leave work at a reasonable hour and to spend more time doing the things she loved.

Fortunately, we were both sharing our stories while on vacation together in Europe. Clearly, we had listened.

It’s easy to get caught up in tasks and quickly lose sight of “our more.” I keep a notebook with me for jotting notes and whenever I start a new one, I devote the first page to listing my boundaries and the things I want to be doing more of.

My boundaries are simple. I have a set time I need to leave the office, and I schedule time for buying healthy groceries and cooking meals (usually Sunday evening).

My “more” consists of time with friends, mini vacations, gardening, walking and reading. As long as I’m consistently spending time in my “more” space, I know I have balance in my life.

What’s your more?

Changing Face of Broadcast News

Listening to three veteran news reporters at a recent conference provided me with plenty of good tips for reaching out and responding to reporters.

Katie Hinman, supervising producer for CNN’s The Lead with Jack Tapper, said:

  • Be honest and comprehensive. We are skeptical and if you aren’t sharing information, we think you have something to hide.
  • Be specific about what your expert will share.
  • Watch the shows you are pitching so you have a sense of what the anchors and correspondents cover.

Gina Garcia, an Emmy-nominated producer with the CBS This Morning program in Washington, D.C., said:

  • “Character is everything.” She was referring to having available someone who benefitted from a program or is using the product. The character provides added depth to the story.
  • Be a resource. Because reporters can’t be everywhere, reporters value PR people who can be available and act as a resource. This often leads to a good story placement for the PR person.

Karen Travers, correspondent with ABC News, said:

  • Follow reporters on Twitter because they often will make requests on Twitter for subject matter experts.
  • Don’t just pitch an idea; pitch the whole concept, including sidebar stories or infographics and possible footage.
  • Provide a phone number where you can be reached 24/7 because you don’t know when the producer is going to call.

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