3 Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Media Relations Plan

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing your company, product or expert opinion included on the front page of the paper or national TV spot. Media coverage is invaluable, providing credibility to your brand and allowing your story to reach key audiences.

When developing a media relations strategy, there are three key questions you should ask before getting started. These questions will help guide you to tell the most impactful stories to the right people.

What’s the goal? The first step before moving forward with a media relations plan is to clearly state what you’re hoping to get out of it. Whether it’s to drive sales of your product, increase traffic to your website or strengthen your brand recognition, having the objective in mind will help shape your planning.

What’s the story? While this seems to be the most obvious question, it’s also the most difficult. Before getting started with a media relations plan, make sure you have identified a story or multiple stories that are newsworthy. Is your story timely, does it provide useful information, are you offering a new take on a hot topic, or is your new product innovative? There are many things that constitute news; however, knowing when your story is not news, can be a more useful skill. Take a step back and ask yourself: “Would I read and enjoy the story I’m trying to tell?”

Who’s the story for? Figuring out your story is only half the battle, the other half is finding the right contacts and publications to tell your story. You may have always wanted to be featured on the TODAY Show, but if you’re trying to reach a specific audience like construction, manufacturing, or financial industries with your B2B product, that is probably not the best strategy. Determine whom your story is for and focus on how you can get exposure in the outlets those people pay attention to. If you skip this step, you may be wasting your time getting media coverage that won’t help meet your goal.

After you’ve successfully answered these three questions you’re ready to move forward with developing a more thorough media relations plan and developing the media pitch, press release, media list and other press materials. Media relations plans can be ongoing and ever-changing, but as long as you continue to return to these three questions, you will be on your way to great media coverage!

Have questions or thoughts? Reach out to bridget.hagan@akhia.com to continue the conversation.