The media landscape is constantly changing – that much is a cliché at this point, even if it’s true. By now the big changes that have occurred since the days of Walter Cronkite – a 24/7 news cycle, a global and interconnected focus rather than a local one, the reduction of reporting staff by many media organizations in the rush to remain profitable (accelerated in the era of social media platforms) – are well known. The question is what are the solutions to these challenges and – more ambitiously – what are the inherent opportunities of the transformed media landscape? How do we turn potential weaknesses into new strengths? This leads us to our top 3 media relations opportunities for 2023.
Personal Relationships Will Be Among Our Top Media Relations Opportunities
In some ways the media landscape has become less personalized. In an era of more news and fewer reporters, the direct line between journalist and PR contact is often weaker. But on the flip side, if you’re able to get through and you repeatedly have a good tip or source, you have a substantial advantage. One of the reasons partners choose us as their communications agency is that we don’t mass pitch or spam reporters; we already have extensive personal contacts with journalists across topic areas and industries, and we leverage those personal connections to obtain media wins. And crucially, our rolodex of reporters is never static; we’re constantly breaking through to reporters of all types via the friends we already have or just by being a consistent source of great information, insights or stories (more on that later). So, in 2023 we’ll double down on the personal relationship component of media relations to ensure there’s constant lines open to relevant reporters.
Leverage More Original Content in Media Relations
Media interviews still play a major role in our outreach, and always will. But again, there’s fewer reporters than there used to be, which means a greater demand on the side of media outlets for original content. Over the years we’ve built up robust content capabilities spanning digital media posts, bylines and op-eds, and blogs and briefs that synthesize in-depth research. We pride ourselves on an ability to digest complex information, often academic in nature, and help partners communicate it in a clear, concise and compelling way, whether on a spokesperson’s social media page or in a full-length article. Obviously our partners are the originators of the ideas and the base of the content, but our skill and know-how helps refine it to make it splash when it lands. With editors wanting more and more content in 2023, we’ll be there with your unique point of view.
Tell More Unique Stories, Not just Pass Along Info
The first two media relations opportunities are both dependent on a third: the opportunity to tell better, more interesting stories. At the end of the day, even the friendliest reporter won’t answer an email or pick up the phone if there’s nothing compelling on the other end; the editor most desperate for content won’t publish an article that rings hollow. That’s why the core of our media relations strategy isn’t the pitching or writing but the storytelling. And once again, trends make this a necessity: more news, fewer reporters and editors, and the need to grab attention and sustain engagement make the central narrative the most important part. Of course, none of this involves making anything up: our partners all have stories to tell about their products, services or ideas. But it’s about identifying precisely how those services, products or ideas will address a problem, disrupt an industry or change the world. This year we’ll emphasize our storytelling skills as the gateway to cutting through the noise and chaos to build a greater narrative of order and solutions in the media.
Media relations often seem like a passive or reactive thing: when your company faces scrutiny you deploy the PR team to do damage control, or you wait for a new product or service launch to send out some press releases. That approach might work for some big brands some of the time, but if your goal is to rise above the competition you need a proactive strategy. And that’s where we come in, leading in taking these media relations opportunities to build your brand and reputation this year.