The type of campaign to which this post refers is not an off-the-shelf solution; it takes time, as well as careful planning and execution, to build relationships with the media but if you are willing to put in the work, the results can be highly valuable both in terms of building links back to your website and in helping to grow your overall business.
Firstly, media relations is not the same as public relations. Public relations focuses on raising the awareness of your business by getting your message out to the masses, while time spent on media relations is spent building a database of press contacts and cultivating valuable relationships with key members of the media. These people with a platform, a following and a recognised voice of authority are valuable allies.
So where do you start?
This is when your website’s analytics software can be put to some good use. Review your site and pay particular attention to the trends that emerge. Is there a search term that people have started using to find your site? Is there a news piece up there or a new product or service that is getting a lot of traffic from the search engines? If you do notice something that appears to be of particular interest then you can conclude that some people, somewhere want to know about it. Better still, using anaytics software you can see where these people are – if they all happen to be in Europe for example, then perhaps that is where you should be focusing your media efforts.
Draw what conclusions you can from your findings, prepare a press release on the topic of interest and put it out into the world via new distribution services in the relevant areas (a news distribution service is an online route via which you are able to bring your news to the attention of the media who may wish to pick up the story).
Now you need to see if anyone bites. If you have done your research and correctly read your findings then you will have put something out there that is newsworthy and journalists will contact you and pick up the story.
The media representatives who get in touch will form the beginning of your media database. Find out what you can about them and the places they publish. Again, look out for trends and then send out a second media hit, this time more tightly tailored to what these people are looking for.
You can buy media lists but as the term ‘media relations’ implies, campaigns like this are all about the relationships. Remember, there are people behind the links – taking the time to research and get to know what they are looking for will make the relevance of your story more likely and, in turn, more likely to be featured.