magazine background with text reading fundamentals of media relations

The Four Fundamentals of Media Relations

As the “middle man/woman” between clients and the media, the role of a PR team is to launch campaigns that help clients gain exposure and maintain a positive image with the public. But this can’t be done without solid media connections and impactful coverage. Here are the four fundamentals of media relations that help Element launch successful campaigns and elevate our clients.

1 | We Do Our Homework

It’s a well-known fact in the world of PR that proper research must be done before a story can be pitched. But, what exactly should you be looking to uncover?

Start with understanding publish dates. You may have a handful of publications packed with potential, but do you know what type of timeline they operate on? How far in advance are stories getting placed? Before you press “send,” it pays to have the answers to important questions like these. If you’re contacting a publication about a time sensitive event or story, doing so well before the event’s date increases your chances of getting adequate coverage, as the majority of publications work months in advance.

2 | We Develop Genuine Relationships

A key attribute of a PR professional is patience. Relationships take time to develop and must be constantly nurtured in order to produce results. A common misconception is that media relations is all about finding new digital and print publications and “spraying and praying” at every opportunity until someone bites. The reality is quite different. In order to make a splash, you must first dip your toes in. This means taking the time and effort to introduce yourself and your client, and getting to know the editors to learn what their communication style is before requesting placement.

Patience isn’t just important in the initial introduction. Respecting the busy lifestyles of journalists and editors means being patient when corresponding. Due to the flood of emails editors receive daily, missed messages are something to be expected, and you’re bound to experience radio silence from time to time. Building those genuine relationships puts you ahead of the crowd and helps you stand out in the inbox.

3 | We Understand More Isn’t Necessarily Better

A successful media campaign isn’t measured by the quantity of pitches you send out, but rather the value behind what you say and how it fits with the voice of a publication. That means refraining from selecting “all” in your contact list and reaching out to the outlets with the right audience for your client’s campaign. If you want to make an impact, be sure to focus on fortifying relationships that put your brand in the best light.

4 | We Look to the Future

The key to a successful PR campaign isn’t all about pitching. In fact, the follow-up is equally as important. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts with an editor if you come across a story in a publication that speaks to you. While it may not directly impact you, it can lead to new opportunities for future placement.

Because of the great effort that goes into developing and maintaining relationships with the media, public relations professionals take pride and ownership in their contacts and media lists. Establishing these relationships is what we do, and the key to a successful campaign often lies in how we choose to execute information to our list of media contacts.

Looking to take your public relations strategy to the next level? Check out what Element has to offer.

Director of Public Relations
A self-described chatterbox, it’s rumored that Tara was born with a phone in her hand. It was only natural that she ended up in the marketing communications industry. With more than 12 years of industry experience, Tara specializes in campaign strategy, planning, publicity, and content marketing. In addition to socializing with just about anyone, Tara enjoys running, yoga, and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers. She also appreciates the occasional quiet weekend at home cooking and relaxing with her husband Ryan and kids, Julia and Colin.

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