Media relations is almost always a crap shoot – especially if you’re pitching soft news. You never know what kind of news day you’ll be up against and sometimes newsrooms can be unpredictable as to what they want to cover.
As a former reporter, I know the first step is to try to pitch a story to the media that’s relevant to their audiences and find something that works in their media. Make sure you have a visual story to tell for television. Make sure you have details and context as well as a good photo op for print. Radio thrives on being instantaneous and requires a good speaker who can break complex ideas down to sound bites. Online media (see all of the above) thrives on immediacy.
Media relations (and media training) is an important part of what we do at Dooley Communications. Right now, we’re doing a lot of work in this regard for UNICEF Canada. Last month, we helped them with publicity around a special meeting on the sexual exploitation of children in Winnipeg. This month, we’re working on the annual Trick or Treat campaign.We have an entire month of events and activities planned and high hopes of earning some positive media attention.
Sometimes being good at media relations means being nimble. Yesterday was a case in point. We heard that one of our UNICEF schools in Regina was holding an assembly today featuring a popular local Canadian Idol contestant. We quickly put together a media advisory and made sure it made it into the right hands of the major media outlets in Regina. This morning, we were pleased to see reporters from two television stations and the major daily paper out to cover the event. I’ll post the links later.