On Message - Our Blog

The Best Way to Improve Media Relations

March 22, 2016

It used to be that the model for getting publicity was pretty standard. The best tips included writing a news release, including a cute tchotchke to help cut through the clutter on an editor’s desk, MAILING the release (or, if you were on the cutting edge of technology, you could FAX it!), waiting a bit and follow up by phone.

If you already had a relationship with a reporter, you could call ahead and alert him or her to your release, and once in awhile, you’d hit gold and get a big story. If you were persistent and had good connections, you could even get a lot of stories. But getting a story that actually moved the needle for your (or your client’s) business? That was rare. “It’s all about awareness,” we would tell ourselves. However, for companies with bottom lines that depended on sales, awareness alone just didn’t cut it. That’s because awareness without action roughly equates to a business without customers.

Today, nothing about PR is the same as it was in the 90s, or even the early 2000s. First of all, people don’t consume media the way they used to, and media outlets are themselves struggling to remain relevant. Dedicated “beat” reporters – like those who used to cover real estate and personal finance – are increasingly rare. So, if you or your agency are still approaching PR in the traditional way, your efforts are probably failing. And you might be wondering why.

At msgwrks ltd., we’re making media relations smarter by incorporating “inbound marketing.” If you’ve never heard of it, it’s time for you to get acquainted, because it will change the way you think about public relations. Instead of the old-school method of pushing out news releases and pitching reporters, companies that practice inbound marketing aren’t relying on the media anymore. Instead, they are becoming their own publishers – creating quality content that pulls people to their websites. By aligning blogs, eBooks and other content with their customers’ interests, businesses are naturally attracting inbound traffic that they can convert, close, and delight over time.

Where traditional PR tactics aren’t always easy to measure, inbound marketing – done right – helps businesses better understand their customers’ needs and where they are in the purchasing process. That feedback enables organizations to focus on the right messages to attract the customers and clients they seek, with measurable results. It’s a far cry from the old days of mailing a news release…and waiting.

All this is not to say that PR, as we know it, is dead. Far from it! But, just as other industries must adapt to game-changing technology, public relations practitioners must also learn new and more efficient ways to make their organizations relevant to key stakeholders.

Looking to step up your PR efforts? Let us show you how inbound marketing can move the needle for your business. Contact us to get started today!