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As a business owner, you always try your very best to manage everything on your plate and stretch your budget as far as it can go just to look for and discover new opportunities for your venture. An effective PR list can go a long way in making sure that your business will be as well-known as you want it to be.
Public Relations Defined
Public relations is a very powerful tool for a business owner as it will help you gain more exposure and places you right in front of the audience you want to target and reach out to.
There are people who think of free advertising every time they hear PR. Well, this is not really far from the truth. Public relations or PR is basically a strategic process of communication that organizations, companies, and individuals use to establish public relationships that will benefit both parties.
A specialist in public relations creates a specialized plan for communication and makes use of media and other indirect and direct mediums to develop and retain a positive image for the brand and a solid relationship with a target audience.
Public Relations and Its Objective
The key objective of public relations is to sustain a positive brand reputation and uphold the strategic relationship with the general public, potential customers, investors, employees, partners, as well as other stakeholders that will lead to the brand’s positive image and make it appear honest, important, relevant, and successful.
The Need for a PR List
An effective PR list is a critical foundation to gain media coverage in blogs, radio and TV programs, and publications used by the target audience. The public relations list documents the primary media contacts that might be interested in your area of expertise or business. The media contacts might include reporters, journalists, producers, bloggers, editors, and freelance writers across online, blogs, print, television, and radio.
The process of creating a media list lets you think carefully as to who will receive your news and how you have to approach every editor, journalist, producer, or blogger to make sure that they will the value of covering it. It is a must to be selective in targeting the media that is most relevant to your business. To establish the thought leadership of your business and showcase industry expertise, you have to be strategic as to where your media coverage is going to be generated.
There are several tips to remember to help you come up with an excellent PR list.
Evaluate Your Target Audience
Before anything else, you have to identify your target audience before you create your public relations list. You also have to assess the best way of reaching them. To get started, you can research the interests of your target audience and their preferences in consuming information, whether it is via websites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, or TV programs.
For example, if stay at home moms are predominant in your target audience, you might want to target your media releases and media pitches to mommy bloggers and women’s magazines.
Explore Different Media Outlets
It is imperative to research different relevant media outlets. It should include the topics they mostly cover, the specific medium such as radio or online, and the audience or readership size. You also have to note how frequent the media outlets produce or publish new content. For example, a blog might publish posts every day while a magazine most often publishes every month. Being familiar with the deadlines and editorial calendar of your targeted media can increase the chances of landing of your story.
Look for the Best Contact
When preparing your public relations list, it is essential that you also look for the right person in the media outlet that you can contact. The person must have an interest in or responsibility for your story’s topic. For example, if you are planning to send your media pitch to a newspaper’s technology section, you have to look for a journalist covering this specific section.
Check articles written in the target publications regarding your topic and take note of the journalists behind these stories. You might also want to go through the job titles of reporters, journalists, and producers. Most of the time, their specific expertise area will be included in their job titles.
Refrain from sending your media pitch or releases to the email address meant for general inquiries because most of the time, this will never reach the best person at a media outlet. Make sure that you don’t contact several persons at one media outlet since it will make you look like a spammer.
To know the details of a media contact, you can go to the website of the media outlet. From there, you will find a list of the phone numbers and email addresses of the staff. You can also contact the publication directly to get some information. You can also search for online databases offering media contact details for media professionals.
Organize Your Information
Your media list should be organized in a database like an Excel document that has separate columns for the media outlet’s name, contact person, email address, phone number, and job title. You might also want to categorize the list into several sections for the specific media outlet type. For instance, you can have a section with blogging contacts and another section for the magazine contacts. Organizing your information properly will let you digest the details easily and find the information you need right away.
Keep Your List Updated
Finally, make sure that your list is updated on a regular basis. This is because there are times when media contacts are going to have new roles or shift to another expertise area. Read news about the industry to keep a close tab of changes so you will know the launch of media outlets as well as when they will shift online or cease publication. This will also let you know if there are newly appointed producers or editors. Keeping yourself well-informed of the changes in the media outlets can ensure you that your PR list is also updated.