Since our last post on how to get your story into the news, our Lakeland public relations firm got into the news! A reporter from The Ledger wrote an article about internships and interviewed Laura Modrall, one of our summer interns, for it.The reporter said something to a member of our staff that really stuck with me, and I’m sharing it because it drives home a point I frequently make to clients. The reporter said she called our office for an interview source because we helped her locate people (not clients of ours) for a different story in the past. She remembered how quickly we provided the information she needed.
Know this: you will be called upon by the media if you can build a reputation for being a valuable resource who provides information quickly.
There are no guarantees in this business, but I believe it’s a safe bet that if I have a story idea about a client in the future, I will be able to get this reporter to give me a few minutes of her time to at least hear my idea.
Here are some tips on how to build that reputation as a resource:
1. Write and submit press releases to media outlets about newsworthy items that help paint you as the expert in your field.
2. Find popular national trends related to your work and suggest ways in which local media outlets can localize the story for their audiences.
3. Promptly reply to reporters’ requests. They work on tight deadlines, and those who return calls first typically are the ones quoted in articles.
4. If you aren’t the best person to be interviewed for a reporter’s article, say so. More importantly, suggest others who would be better to quote. A reporter will appreciate your honesty and will be left with a favorable impression.
I realize that some of these tips require some time and effort on your part, but I believe the payoff makes them worth your time. If you’re too busy handling the day-to-day operations in your company, perhaps it’s time to consider hiring a public relations firm to handle these tasks for you.
Call us if you have questions. We can help.