Posted by Heidi Cohen on December 10, 2010
6 Tips to Improve Your Media Relations
Bringing your food in thirty minutes or less, Domino’s Pizza is known for speedy delivery, good quality and reasonable prices. As a columnist and blogger, these characteristics are equally important in a PR professional.
Here are six ways that PR professionals are like Domino’s Pizza.
- Make it easy for me to contact you. Be accessible across communications devices. As a writer, let me decide how I want to contact your firm. The more options, the easier you make it for me. Among the alternatives are phone, email, text, social media or online PR center. I’ve tried using PR Centers and corporate PR email addresses that took days to get a response. If your firm falls into this category, you should consider whether you really want press coverage and set expectations for inquiries.
- Be ready to take PR requests when journalists call. While Domino’s Pizza has employees ready to serve during their store hours, you must have a PR professional ready to respond when a story breaks in today’s 24/7 news cycle or the media may go to your competitor. (CheckDavid Meerman Scott’s new book, Real Time Marketing and PR.) Further, media can encompass a wide variety of formats including bloggers and e-zines. If you want to be part of the news, you can’t just wait for old media, print and television.
- Provide useful information quickly. Like Domino’s deliver what the press wants swiftly. As a columnist, when I’m on deadline and need help, there are a few resources that I turn to because I know that they will turn around my request in my timeframe. Empower and train your PR staff to be able to provide timely turn around without a lot of red tape.
- Know where I live. Just as Domino’s Pizza doesn’t ask for directions to get to your house, PR professionals should read my columns, examine the media for which I write, and learn what topics I cover. By doing your homework, you become a valuable resource to me and I’m likely to contact you when I need information.
- Offer me additional resources. Like the condiments that Domino’s Pizza adds, present other information or sources that might be useful for my story.
- Just deliver my order. Only give me the information for which I’m asking. Don’t send me useless press releases because, to me, they’re spam.
A great PR person is worth their weight in gold, even at today’s ever increasing rates. Follow these six easy steps and you’ll quickly make your way to the top of journalists’ autodial and get your story placed more broadly.
Do you have anything else to add to this list? It would be great if columnists, bloggers and PR professionals contributed their perspectives.