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Maintaining Media Relations for your Start-up

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16th Jan 2013
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In my previous post, we briefly explored tools and techniques that could be used for creating an in-house PR strategy. Now let us see how a startup can maintain good media relations.

Media relations are a basic component of PR. Every PR practitioner is aware, that one of the deciding factors for the success of a PR campaign is having good media relations.

Building and managing media relationships is not a complex science but has more to do with understanding basic human behavior and psychology. Follow these simple pointers while dealing with the media fraternity:

Be a good storyteller

The storyteller has a difficult job. He must weave his tales and engage his audience with captivating words and good timing. In that sense, pitching to a journalist is no different from storytelling. No one will ever be interested in your story if you cannot narrate it in a compelling manner. You wont have much time to make your pitch, so make it as brief and interesting as you can.

Do your home-work

Media relation requires more than possessing a database of journalists. When you call a journalist, make sure you’ve researched the sector that they write on. This will help you to target the right journalist and help in time management for your PR campaign.

Refine the art of telephone conversation

Put yourself in their shoes, isn’t it annoying to receive marketing calls when you’re busy in a meeting? Don’t be callous or inconsiderate at any point in your conversation. Always enquire whether it’s a convenient time for them to speak with you. Common courtesy is after all, the least that you can offer!

A certain kind of etiquette must be followed when in touch with a journalist. Remember to:

  • Speak clearly
  • Avoid using slang or poor language
  • Be patient
  • Be courteous.

Be creative:

The difference between a story that is published and one that isn’t, is its creative quotient. Even a mundane story can be made interesting when put in the right context. For instance, while sending a pitch to the media for a fitness center, we realised that the month of Ramzan was approaching. Unlike our competitors, who sent in generic fitness tips, we creatively modified ours and wrote a special article titled “10 Ways to Keep Fit During Ramzan”. A unique perspective is often what will set you apart from the crowd.

Be persistent but not annoying

There is a fine line between being persistent and being annoying. Remember, there should be a window period of at least one day between the first pitch and the follow up call. Instead of making repeated calls to the journalist, try sending a reminder via email.

Gyaanexchange is conducting a workshop for the same, you can register here

About the Author:

Dev Dave, has been a PR practitioner for 4 years and has handled reputed brands like Zee learn, Rediff.com, Fitness First, Essilor, Samira Habitats etc. He is currently the head of online promotion for Gyaanexchange.com

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