Working with the media
Research has shown that individuals are influenced by what they read, see or hear about in the media. In recent years the media has undergone huge change with many people changing the way they receive news. The printed press and other traditional sources of news such as radio remain important however. The media can be broadly categorised into print (newspapers and magazines), broadcast (TV and radio), and online (websites), and can be further categorised into national, regional and local, and trade.
Relationships with the media
Developing and maintaining positive relationships with journalists plays an important part in helping secure coverage for your stories. Working to tight deadlines is characteristic of the media industry. For example, print journalists will often need to file a story by 4pm if it is to be in the next day's paper. Journalists therefore work under a great deal of pressure and often require information very quickly. Handling follow-up enquiries from journalists promptly will increase the likelihood of your stories being covered in the future.
Press releases are a common way of communicating a story to the media. These are usually distributed electronically to relevant media outlets, websites and wire services. To coincide with the issue of a press release it may also help to make contact with a journalist to 'sell-in'a story.
For a particular story an individual will be need identified to speak to the media on behalf of your organisation. In many instances the spokesperson will be a business owner or senior manager, and the person who is quoted in a press release. It is preferable for anyone who is nominated as a spokesperson to have undergone some form of media training, to help ensure that an organisation's key messages are accurately portrayed in any coverage.
Media coverage can never be guaranteed, regardless of how strong an organisation feels its story is. It will depend on a number of factors including whether the story is original news, its perceived value in the eyes of the media and other news that's breaking on a particular day and is competing for space. A story is likely to be more 'newsworthy' where there is a specific 'hook' on which coverage can be built, such as the launch of a new business or an event.