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Making the most of the media

Making the most of the media

The media is not your friend – and it’s not your enemy.
It can however be a valuable tool for:
– raising awareness
– influencing perceptions
– disseminating information
– attracting attention

Some key principles in attracting the right sort of media attention include:

  1. Choose the media channel carefully
    According to your strategic aims.  When approaching them,
    make sure you mirror as much as possible their interests,
    tone and story length in any material you supply.

    2. Don’t confuse editorial with an ad
    It is NOT guaranteed that even strong material will make it onto
    the page and it’s nearly always a bad idea to harass the
    – to see the copy in advance
    – for guarantees of content or inclusion
    – for a subsequent explanation if it doesn’t run

    3.  Be aware of media priorities
    Writers are looking to generate as much interest as possible
    so they often need an angle.  If you can supply additional
    ‘colour’, your story will have a better chance.  Consider adding:
    – any relevant statistics
    – background info or case studies of applications/uses
    – creative, good quality photography
    4. Expect to move quickly
    If you put out a story to a daily or even weekly publication,
    deadlines are tight.  Have as much information at your
    fingertips as you can and make sure that you have free time
    and are available to deal with subsequent media inquiries
    5. What you say DOES count
    Be sure of the points you want to get across and don’t be
    afraid to stress them.  The journalist is unlikely to be an
    expert and may take many of his cues from the info you supply
    It is a good idea to explore any weaknesses in your story in
    advance so that you are ready with answers if the journalist
    picks up on them.
    6.  Don’t expect perfection
    The media agenda is not identical to your own and the story
    may not be written exactly as you would wish to see it.
    But if you have supplied suitable info consistent with your
    aims and the journalist’s needs – your chances of a positive
    outcome are well worth the effort.