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Takeaway media tips for business #yesplease

By Mikela Dennison, Senior Account Executive at The Clarity Business

I recently attended PRINZ's first Meet the Media event of 2014 and thought it would be useful to offer some takeaway tips for businesses to apply in your own efforts and how you can use PR to better connect with the media and raise the profile of the work you do and the difference you make in your market.

Help us tell your human stories

A key point reiterated by the panel was that the more you can tell the human story of your business, the better.

This can be a difficult task for businesses, particularly larger corporates who might not have person or personality-based stories at the ready. However, the value in having a case study, example or anecdote about someone your product, service or approach has benefited cannot be understated.

It goes back to anthropological studies that people innately understand and connect to storytelling – some researchers say that storytelling is in fact central to human existence. The more human and personable you can make your story, the more chance you have of connecting with your audience.

Some commentators say that businesses 'suck' at telling stories and often make assumptions that there's no place for stories in the corporate space, but au contraire, using stories to bring facts, numbers, deals and reports to life can make all the difference when it comes to connecting your organisation with the media – and with your audience.

Takeaway tip for business: Focus on people and experience and help your PR people to tell those stories when you're trying to target media.

Prep your spokesperson for the publication (and know who you are pitching to)

So you want to raise the profile of your business through coverage in a targeted media outlet or publication - that's the first step. But all too often, businesses don't realise the importance of having media 'talent', who can engage with the journalist or reporter in an appropriate, engaging and interesting way.

Similarly, if you aren't available for comments or interviews, perhaps rethink how much you really want to get your business covered on radio or TV, because without a spokesperson who's available when the media needs you, it can be a waste of time for the journalist and a wasted opportunity and allocation of resource for you. Knowing who your target audience is can guide you in how you target media, so make sure you (or your dedicated PR person) know the media landscape, what's trending and the angles journalists are interested in before anyone picks up the phone.

Takeaway tip for business: If you are looking to secure media coverage, make sure you have the right people ready to comment and do interviews, with relevant, interesting and accurate information on hand so that the journalist, producer or editor finds your business easy and helpful to deal with.

Twitter as a tipping service

One of the journalists at the Meet the Media event made note of how his newsroom utilises Twitter as a tipping service of sorts. While the media doesn't base all its reporting and background on a single tweet, it can be used as a gauge for new, breaking and trending stories, as well as giving real time updates on what's happening.

From major corporations, to well-known individuals, to stock markets and industry commentators, social media can be a hugely useful channel for media to utilise for story ideas. For businesses and brands, that means not only having an active social media presence, but ensuring that your channels are updated with your latest news, views, and knowledge, so that the media sees you as a useful and timely source of information and angles.

Takeaway tip for business: Social media isn't just for teens, celebs and clothing brands - it's a growing source of information and news tips for media and can provide another channel for you to raise profile and lead your market.

Help us to deliver the best pitch on your behalf

One of the most useful comments made by the Meet the Media panel was about the best pitch ever received. If you are working with a PR company, help us to help you by providing the ingredients for the perfect pitch: work with your PR team to find a new and timely angle, supply great images, respect the media's deadlines and realise you need to work around them, and provide useful background information.

Takeaway tip for business: Great media coverage doesn't happen in a vacuum, but if you are prepared and work smartly with your PR team, you'll increase the likelihood that the next corporate profile you read in that target publication, is about you and your business.

Are you ready to place your order?

If you want to elevate the profile of your business through targeted media coverage, and you are ready to put in the ground work to help your PR team work magic for you, follow these takeaway tips and then get in touch with Mikela mikela@theclaritybusiness.co.nz or George george@theclaritybusiness.co.nz or tweet us via @ShapeTheMessage to place your order.