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Manage the Media with Public Relations Fundamentals

Part of the Public Relations For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In the world of public relations (PR), finding the media outlets to send your press releases and other PR materials to so you can reach your target audience is crucial. Do your research, think expansively, and stay connected to the media with these tips:

  • Build a personal contact file. Keep at it until you have a list of at least 100 media contacts who know you personally and take your call when you have a story you want to publicize.

  • Follow up. Call everyone to whom you send your press release — several times each, if necessary. Do this and you will get coverage.

  • Become the “go-to guy.” Show the press that you’re the one to call for expert interviews in your particular field. For example, Alan Dershowitz is the go-to guy for law.

  • Don’t limit yourself. Broaden your outreach. A CEO reads Forbes, but he also watches the evening TV news.

  • Offer an exclusive. If it’s important for you to get into a particular publication, offer the editor an exclusive on the story (meaning you won’t send out a press release to other media until that publication has run it first).

  • Go where the cameras already are. Instead of trying to get media to cover your event, make noise at an event they’re already covering. Domino’s Pizza gets national TV coverage by bringing free pizza to the post office on April 15 to feed last-minute taxpayers standing in line.

  • Media are not interested in you or your product. They care only whether your story will interest their readers or viewers.

  • Remember: Media are your customer. They are buying stories, and you are selling. Meet their needs, and they will run your stories.

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