5 Tactics to Increase the Success of Your Traditional Media Strategy

A recent BurrellesLuce eNewsletter included some interesting PR facts and five tactics to increase the success of your traditional media strategy. I share below.

Fact One: The rise of new media has affected traditional journalism. A recent survey conducted by Bulldog Reporter revealed that 24-hour online access to information has made a big difference in present-day journalistic practices. As more journalists incorporate online techniques into their process, PR professionals must rethink their media relations strategies.

Fact Two: Online newspaper consumption rose +8.71 percent in 2005, and +200 percent over the past five years. As of July 2007, 59.6 million people visited newspaper websites– an increase of nine percent over the past year (Newspaper Association of America).

Fact Three: Journalists are not bloggers despite their utilization of online tools. Unlike bloggers, they are less interested in developing alliances. Journalists are also up against a deadline, are trained to commit to reporting, and are less likely to have a personal agenda. Still, there are many ways "new media" can enhance your traditional media outreach.

And finally, here is BurrellesLuce's list of five ways to ratchet-up your traditional media relations - and some of our commentary:

1. Beef up your company’s virtual pressroom – The number one complaint by journalists: PR professionals don’t give them the information they need to write a story. With 24-hour access to the web, journalists increasingly turn to online pressrooms for critical information about a company, including, but not limited to, key contact information and news worthy scoops.

We would also add to this the importance of beefing up your overall online web presence. When journalists go hunting for information they often start with a search engine. Sending regular search-optimized releases via HRmarketer's Direct2Net service and/or publishing "content" in the form of white papers and research will increase the chances of being found online.

2. Research both the journalist and their beat – Sending mass press releases to anyone and everyone is all too easy with today’s online technology. Avoid the urge to "spam" journalists with irrelevant or erroneous releases – chances are they will just be deleted anyway. Instead, take the time to research journalists and their beats. It may take a little more work, but targeting those most likely to write about your story proves far more beneficial. Crafting individual messages adds a nice personal touch.

We could not agree more. Think of yourself as an editorial resource providing writers with timely, pertinent information. Never blast your press release to the entire HRmarketer Media Outlets database or any other system you use when sending releases directly to journalists. For example, do not send a press release on recruitment software to a media outlet or journalist who only wants to receive press releases on wellness topics. It takes no more than 30 - 60 minutes to create a targeted distribution list on HRmarketer. It's worth the time.

3. Produce a quality story – Worry less about selling your product and more about demonstrating how it is beneficial to consumers.

A prominent HR trade magazine editor told us that a brief placement in the right context can be every bit as important as a big story. If you’re pitching your organization or service to a writer, offer a customer who’s used your service or product successfully to either solve an issue, save costs, or meet some other need. Even if the story focuses on the HR manager or department, a mention of your service as their solution will have tremendous impact to readers, and to your business.

4. Enlist the help of "new media" – Journalists tend to frequent blogs and social networks to keep up with current news and events and find out which stories are hot. Start by reading and commenting on influential blogs, then work your way to becoming a key player in the blogosphere by creating your own. The goal is to become pro-active rather than reactive.

Online publicity, traffic, leads. I think we've made our point about the importance of online marketing and PR.

5. And finally, be prepared to share client lists – In today’s day and age, it is all about the contacts you make. Journalists are just as interested in making and keeping a network of reliable sources as you are. Sharing your client list with a journalist, if they request it, proves your willingness to be forthcoming with information. And if a journalist gets a lead from your clients, your company may just snag a mention in the story.

By finding and securing the participation of HR experts from your own network of contacts today, you’ll be ready when the opportunity arises...especially if a reporter’s deadline is only days away from the posting. Connecting a journalist with an HR client of yours will increase the chances of securing a media placement of your own company.

HRmarketer members can visit our Marketing and PR Tips for more details, examples and strategies on the above tactics.