Anne Wise of Wise Communications offers some tips on improving your media relationships.
As a growing sector, there's no doubt that social enterprises have interesting and relevant stories to tell. The media offers you a great opportunity to spread the message about the role and benefits you have in your local communities, and further afield, in a cost effective way.
You don't have to make a major investment to see some benefits from working with the media. It does take time to foster productive media relationships and to build awareness of your business and brand so you'll need to make a commitment to maintaining a regular flow of news to achieve this.
Before you start your love-in with the press, here are a few ideas to help you get the most from the relationship.
- How do you want your business to be portrayed? Do you want to focus on what you do as a business, or the your social impact? Or both? If you can be clear about your messages, it helps.
- Journalists have only one thing on their mind - is this of interest to my readers, viewers or listeners? So you have to think about what makes your story worth reporting. Your story's got to be relevant to their audiences, and not just self-serving.
- Always try to use straight-forward language, avoiding jargon and technical terms. Journalists are trained not to use lots of abbreviations and terminology, and to use language that is easy to understand.
- Abide by the golden rules. Journalists need to know Who? What? Why? When? How? If you can give these basic facts every time you put forward a story, it helps to give the media all the details they need.
- Press releases are useful tools. Our advice would be to keep them relatively short, and make sure you have included a contact number and make sure the person is available after you send it out. Include facts and figures about the company in the notes to editors at the end of the release.
- Journalists and deadlines go hand-in-hand, so it helps to find out the deadlines of the media you are sending material to so they have it at the right time for them.
Wise Communications is a PR consultancy based in Suffolk, specialising in helping small businesses and social enterprises promote what they do.
Disclaimer: The views contained in this blog are not necessarily shared by SEEE.