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How can I master media relations?

By Aleasha Rafferty, Thursday, 27th April 2023 | 0 comments
Filed under: Public Relations, Media relations.

In today’s competitive business landscape, media relations can provide benefits that no other marketing activity can match. Media relations is the process of managing the relationship between an organisation and journalists or media outlets. The purpose of media relations is to create and sustain a favourable connection between an organisation and the media.

This blog post will cover the importance of having a media relations strategy, including building brand awareness, enhancing credibility, and achieving business growth. Additionally, it will provide valuable tips for improving your media relations approach.


Here are five tips for mastering media relations:

1. Understand the media landscape and the target audience

To succeed in PR, it's essential to understand the media landscape, including traditional print media, broadcast, online media, and social media. Print media has strict deadlines, while digital media offers more flexibility. Social media is another powerful tool that PR professionals can use to create a strong media presence for their clients. To do so, it's important to determine which social media platforms will strategically benefit the client's business or brand.

At Comit, we specialise in clients within the tech, sustainability and B2B industries. To effectively reach our target audience, we focus on media consumed by our clients’ target audiences, such as The Irish Times, Irish Independent, RTÉ, Newstalk, The Business Post and Business Plus, as well as more tech-focused publications like Irish Tech News and Silicon Republic. By strategically targeting these media outlets, we are able to effectively communicate our clients' messages to the right audience and enhance their public image within their respective industries.

2. Craft a compelling story angle

Crafting a compelling story angle is crucial for successful media relations. To create a story angle, think about what makes your story unique and why it would be of interest to the media's audience. Ask yourself, "why should anyone care?" When crafting your message, aim for concision, avoiding overly promotional language or industry jargon. Instead, use language that is easily understood by the public.

Another effective tip is to include hard facts and statistics where possible. Use a survey or research for example, as this adds credibility and depth to your story.

It's also important to tailor your message to the specific publication or journalist you are targeting, ensuring it aligns with their interests and focus.


3. Build and maintain strong media relations

Establishing positive relationships with journalists is crucial to success in the media. Before reaching out to a journalist, it's crucial to research their beats, interests, and the topics that their media outlet covers, in order to establish a strong foundation. Identify those that are relevant to your client's industry or area of expertise. Once identified, introduce yourself while respecting their time and workload.

Stay up to date on their work and offer value by providing helpful information or story ideas that align with their interests. Being responsive and available is also key to maintaining strong relationships. Focus on building long-term relationships with specific journalists and engage with them on social media.

At Comit, we have very strong relationships with the journalists who cover our tech clients as we have been working with some of them for up to 25 years. They know that we provide trustworthy and high-quality content and understand how they work and the types of stories they write about. They know that we won’t waste their time sending stories they won’t be interested in and know their key deadlines. We also meet them, have phone chats, coffees and go to events with them. This adds an x-factor human element to our relationships which makes a real difference.

4. Be proactive and reactive in media engagement

Effective media relations require both proactive and reactive media participation. Being proactive entails discovering opportunities to interact with the media while strategically selecting which stories to pitch to them. It involves keeping abreast of market developments and events, creating compelling storylines, and promptly pitching them to journalists. It is crucial to be persistent, yet considerate of their decisions and busy schedules.

On the other hand, reactivity means responding quickly and effectively to media enquiries and opportunities.

Being proactive and reactive in media engagement means that you're not only monitoring the news for potential opportunities but also being prepared to react quickly to breaking news. Newsjacking is a technique used to leverage a breaking news story to bring attention to your brand or client. This involves identifying a breaking news story that relates to your client's industry or expertise and quickly crafting a response or pitch that adds value to the conversation. Approaching newsjacking with caution and sensitivity is crucial since it can backfire if done inappropriately or insensitively.

At Comit, we not only take a proactive approach in media engagement but are also reactive by promptly responding to media inquiries and tackling any negative coverage. By balancing both our proactive and reactive strategies, our PR agency effectively manages our clients’ media presence.

5. Measure and evaluate media relations efforts

To determine the effectiveness of a PR campaign, it is important to measure and evaluate media relations efforts. Traditional PR commonly uses media coverage as a metric to measure media relations, including the reach, media cost, and the outlets in which the coverage appeared. Social media engagement in non-traditional PR can serve as a tool to gauge efforts, such as website traffic and social media engagement. These metrics offer valuable insights into how media coverage affects brand visibility and audience engagement.

At Comit, we work with a media tracking company to evaluate our media relations efforts. We conduct regular reporting and analysis to deliver measurable results for our clients.


If you succeed, the benefits of mastering public relations are very worthwhile:

Increased visibility

Effective media relations can play a crucial role in increasing a company's visibility. By securing media coverage in relevant outlets, a brand can gain increased awareness and recognition among its target audience. In today's world, where consumers are bombarded with thousands of ads daily, standing out and capturing the attention of your target audience can be challenging. However, a well-placed news article or feature in a reputable publication can have a significant impact.

A PR agency like Comit, works to identify the most suitable media outlets for clients and pitches stories that align with their key messages and target audience. By securing media coverage, we help our clients increase their visibility and stay top-of-mind with their target audience.

Improved corporate reputation

Effective media relations can have a significant impact on a company's reputation by promoting positive news and responding to negative coverage in a timely and effective manner. When a company publishes a press release in a reputable  publication, it can increase its credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of its target audience. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and even attract new customers. The key is building  trust, and media coverage is a great way to build trust by cultivating an impactful positive reputation.

On the other hand, negative media coverage can damage a company's reputation and erode trust. A PR agency can help a company to proactively address negative coverage and mitigate damage, and potentially even turn negative coverage into a positive opportunity to demonstrate commitment to transparency and accountability.

At Comit, we work closely with our clients to manage their media presence and ensure that their reputation remains strong and positive.

Business growth

Effective media relations can be a powerful tool for business growth. A well-placed news story or press release can create buzz for a brand and potentially influence a customer's decision-making process, leading to increased sales and loyalty. By effectively managing media relations, a brand can also position itself as a thought leader in the industry. This can enhance trust among potential consumers and partners, leading to more business opportunities and growth.

At Comit, we work to identify key opportunities to position our clients as thought leaders. For example, we recently secured an opinion piece on Think Business about how geography is key for sustainable business for Esri Ireland, a digital mapping specialist, to write about digital geography and how it can help organisations become more sustainable. This type of media coverage can significantly enhance a brand's reputation and contribute to business growth.

Final thoughts on media relations

In today's competitive business landscape, it's crucial to have a strong public image that resonates with your target audience. This is where media relations come in. By cultivating relationships with journalists and media outlets, you can increase your organisations visibility, enhance your reputation, and drive business growth.

At Comit, we understand the importance of media relations and have the expertise to help you take your efforts to the next level. Whether you need help crafting a compelling message, identifying key media outlets, or building relationships with journalists, we're here to help. So, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today and start building a stronger public image for your organisation.


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