Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Gone are the days when newsrooms buzzed with the sound of clicking typewriters, ringing telephones and journalists shouting from one corner to the other.
Offices were filled with hundreds of reporters keen to file their latest stories, one after the next. In today’s modern newsroom, the number of staff on the news floor has reduced significantly. Commercial pressures and #COVID19 means the amount of journalists has decreased but the opportunities have not.
This media shrinkage has created more opportunities for innovative public relations and marketing professionals to land positive stories for their clients. All you need to do to put your business in the position to shine is to determine the best content and method of delivery to engage with your target media. With social distancing and restrictions on which businesses can remain open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to convey what your business is doing well and how it is pivoting in these challenging times.
Here are our top tips on how to grab hold of the opportunities in the current media landscape and kick some PR goals for your business, clients and customers.
Targeted Media Releases
If we could identify one platform that has suffered the most due to the emergence of new technologies and changes to the way people consume their news, it would be print media. Print journalists have had to adapt quickly and many are now tasked with a range of duties each day, including interviewing talent, writing content, taking photographs and obtaining videos, uploading it to their outlets website, sharing it on social media, monitoring engagement and attempting to drive subscriptions. This results in a significant reduction in time to perform their jobs. And that’s where we step in.
Often media are running our media releases verbatim. The only thing being changed is the byline which is good news. It allows PR professionals to tailor press releases to their clients needs, slipping in key messaging and wording wherever possible in a bid to achieve a desired outcome. The best advice we can give is to study the news outlet you (or your agency) intend to pitch to. How do they write their stories - short and sharp or longer pieces? What style do they use - formal or casual? What is their tone -authoritative or entertaining? Once you have this figured out, aim to write your press release as though you were writing for the newspapers’ audience, in the same style and tone that is published in their editions. This will boost your chances of having your press release run as is, with few changes – and further boost the chances of achieving the PR outcome set out by your business.
Supplying Images Can Secure Your Coverage
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and this notion certainly holds true in the land of newspapers. We often see images taking up a large chunk of print publications, and there is a very good reason for this. People can often be drawn in and emotions are ignited by an arresting image – this is why you will often see images like cute fluffy dogs and teacup piglets sporting pink bow-ties splashed across Page 3 of many newspapers.
While these images draw the reader in and hold their attention, the number of the very people tasked with capturing them have also been reduced. In House Photographers have borne the brunt of redundancies across newsrooms in recent years which is lucky for us PR types, as these photographers are more available to work for us and our clients. We have several former NewsCorp and AAP photographers on our books that take great images for our clients and once run clients then own the images for use in other mediums like social media and websites. We have been able to land front pages, the designated ‘cute animals’ slot on Page 3, and the pages of many glossy magazines and key business sections across the country when working with these talented individuals. A bonus is that when setting up the shots, we can help you can add in some of your own branding – think shirts with logos, banners and pamphlets – to the shot, adding even more profile for your brand.
Video Press Releases
With the reduction in staff numbers, journalists are being called upon more and more to help generate video content for their television news segments. It’s not uncommon to see a reporter using their smartphone to record footage on the fly or set-up their own tripod to do a piece-to-camera. This is especially true when their cameraman has been called out to an urgent event – say a car crash or house fire – either leaving the journalist to their own devices or dropping the scheduled story altogether. This happens all the time and we know just how frustrating it can be. But there is a solution.
Video press releases are a great way to achieve coverage for your business. What we, as PR professionals, do is set-up our clients with microphones, lighting, a camera and tripod and the necessary branding to record a piece-to-camera that we have carefully scripted to ensure your key messages are shining through. Our experienced team also films B-roll footage to compliment the piece and when filming wraps up, we package it all together in one seamless file and send it over to the TV station/s. It’s that simple – and the media crews appreciate the help. And while it benefits the media by having everything literally handed to them, it is also beneficial for our clients in that we are able to have complete control over the messaging contained within the video piece and total ownership over the content for use online later. It’s a win-win.
Like video press releases, the Profiler PR team has found supplying audio grabs to radio stations to be great to help achieve coverage for clients. We apply the same principles around key messaging and control of content to really maximise the desired outcome, as outlined by our clients.
Generally, we supply audio in one of two ways. The first is by recording individual interviews with the relevant spokespeople designated by our clients and sending them as individual files, or by recording a range of people applicable to the story and packaging it up in to one seamless file for the radio station/s to use. The radio station might also opt to conduct a phone interview, which is generally pre-recorded before the story goes to air. Either way, we make sure to prepare our clients with key messaging and interview preparation notes ahead of the scheduled chat to ensure they are clear, confident and stay on topic. We never let you go in unprepared and always put you in the best position to shine.
Need help putting together some engaging stories in new ways? We are experts in positioning businesses and individuals for growth, and have a wealth of experience and contacts we can put to work for you to achieve great results. Contact us today to find out how we can help via firstname.lastname@example.org