MEDIA RELATIONS: PROMOTING CHANGE THROUGH MASS MEDIA
We won't be able to propose anything to media if we don't understand how they work. What is media relations and what are they founded on? MEDIA ARE PEOPLE
Therefore, to work with media you have to look for the people you need. These days, editors and journalists can easily be found through social networks, you can monitor their hobbies and everything what makes up their lives. At the workplace, communicators deal with journalists that are an important part of the audience because they also assist the development of social projects. Hence, you have to include journalists, editors and producers in your strategic plans.
DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE AMONG JOURNALISTS
Before everything else, journalists are interested in exclusive material — the news that elicits emotion. For readers, it's important to get to know the news in order to satisfy curiosity and improve life. Because of this, you have to set contacts and form a pool of friends among media.
GET READY FOR MEDIA PITCHING
It's a short message, no more than 200 words, or a phone call to a journalist. Your main goal is to get the journalist interested in and initiate their follow-up publication on your organisation, campaign or project.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH JOURNALISTS THE RIGHT WAY AND GET THEM INTERESTED IN YOUR INFORMATION CAMPAIGN OR PROJECT?
After that, you'll get to know such things that will make you understand something about them:
age, sex, education, income;
plainness of the language, state of awareness;
who's shaping their minds, what they read/watch;
where they go out/hang out.
MEDIA IS BUSINESS
They earn money selling advertising, disseminating and influencing. According to a 2018 research, all Ukrainian media could share a budget of $800 million. Keep in mind that Ukrainian media were for a long time discussing what they had to do to become enterprise. Yet they're rarely able to do it in a genuine way. Social projects will have to involve in cooperation and unfriendly media too, in order to get their audience over to the "bright side." Because an audience that doesn't get access to the Internet, social networks and is interested in watching TV obviously needs to undergo social change in the first place. MEDIA AUDIENCE AND THE AUDIENCE OF A PROJECT
When implementing information campaigns, you'll have to keep your eye on the media that have the most interesting audience in terms of the organisation. You could take an up-to-day map of Ukrainian TV channels' (or another media) coverage share and look at your "set of change" and choose the media that fits your project the most. The theme, sex, age and social standing of the audiences of the media and your projects must fit each other. For sure, the policy of the TV channel may change; therefore, you'll have to have reputational risks factored in for your social campaign as well as your NGO. MEDIA ARE TECHNOLOGIES
Media use technologies to make their formats more diverse. To have media use your content more often, do this job for them. And you'll have to propose not only a textual piece of news but also infographics or a finalized video to it.
WHAT CONSUMERS GET FROM MEDIA
Emotions, empathy, analogies
Successful media pitching will require:
providing a certain media only with the information it's interested in;
careful consideration of the main topic of your mail;
maintain consistency in your writing style;
creating a short and concise message;
ensuring a balance in your tone (not too familiar but not too formal at the same time);
offering the journalist something exclusive or useful;
showing the journalist that you're well acquainted with their work portfolio.
USE THE POWER OF STORYTELLING
The power of stories is based upon a concrete example. These could be real stories, quotations, colourful comparisons and metaphors, oriented on a result, average people and groups.
When offering a piece of news, you have to:
take the trending news that's covered by everyone;
hook up your project to this all.
SEVERAL EXTRA TIPS ON HOW TO GET JOURNALISTS INTERESTED
Talk to them as if you were talking to your acquaintance. Leave out formalities and an overly official style; use plain language that's easy to understand.
Stand out from the crowd. Ditch standard clichés.
Facts need "spicing" and teasing information.
Avoid using too many numbers, they complicate understanding of the material.
Use colourful comparisons.
And all in all — make the journalist's life easier. Approach them with the news on your own initiative, mention and give the journalist contacts of the people that need to be interviewed, along with a photo and video.