The key to being a powerful PR engine for your business is to think strategically about the writers, reporters, and other media persons that you’re targeting; from here on we will call this group your “media contacts” or MC.
Do some research and make a TOP 10 list of “key persons” based on the following:
- First know your own audience applying the 80/20 rule. Focus in on that 20% of your customers generating 80% of your business. Once you know who your audience is make sure there is a good match with your MC’s audience. You should be able to succinctly express why your MC’s audience would be highly interested in your product/service.
- MC’s who are tasked with specifically covering issues or content that connect and relate to your product/service. For example, if your business is a composting product you would want to add the reporter for the newspaper who covers sustainability, the environment and or green issues.
- Identify any MC’s who have a natural personal interest in your product/service or those who fall into the category of being a great candidate for loving your product/service if they knew about it. For example if you have a new baby seat cover for shopping cart seats with a local design …you would want to look for an MC who is a new or expecting mommy.
One of the beautiful things about living in such a small community like Hawaii is that there is an abundance of opportunity to interact and build good relationships with the media. Here are three super suggestions for making inroads with your TOP 10.
- Offer feedback and praise. Most MC in this town are still highly aware of feedback from their audiences and for some MCs there is sometimes a shortage of audience feedback, particularly positive feedback and praise that are both insightful and intelligent, that your emails or a phone call will stick out in their minds. When you do this remember to have no other purpose, agenda, or “ask” at that time, but just to offer feedback and praise.
- Many publications have signature events where it’s mandatory that their editorial team attend. Generally these events cost $35-$150 depending on the format and venue. Make a point when you go to introduce yourself to your MC or MCs and spend a few minutes talking to them at the event, particularly if it’s an event with a networking format. They will most likely be glad to have someone to talk to and you will have the opportunity to engage with them and make an impression to prime future interactions.
- Only send your MCs relevant information. Be sure that if an MC expresses to you a certain angle or need that you be respectful and mindful of this. Never send them generic content that wouldn’t apply, unless for example it’s something like your monthly press release. Otherwise each interaction with that MC should be personalized and feel like something that is special content for them and their audience. Always be prepared when contacting them to also furnish great photos, people to interview if appropriate, background information on the company, company personnel or other basic information. They will not always cover or respond to what you stream their way but it will encourage a habit of turning to you for certain topics and areas that will position you well in the future.
Written by: Ryan Mae Sweeney (Marketing Manager Honolulu Club)