Today’s media landscape is in constant change. Even as newsrooms continue to shrink, the news cycle is gaining speed, and more outlets are shifting to digital-only platforms—traditional pitches don’t resonate. Yet, we’ve found a way—thanks to our team of news hounds who understand the dynamics of the media environment and have the skills to adapt outreach approaches accordingly. 

The leader of our pack is Brian—a skilled media relations practitioner who makes savvy connections between complex business topics, our clients’ expertise and reporters’ interests and styles—allowing our pitches to stand out in a crowded inbox.  

Brian shares his experience and insights on shaping media stories in the following Q&A: 

Can you discuss your background and how you came to lead Stern’s media relations capability? 

My background isn’t typical of someone who works in public relations. I was a history undergraduate major and then studied international relations as a graduate student. My academic focus comes from a lifelong obsession with big picture trends in the world—what happened in the past, what’s going on now and what will happen in the future. That made me a news and current events enthusiast since I was a child, and it naturally led me into a field where that big picture perspective is vital. I came to Stern as a writer for thought leadership clients before moving over to the media relations function, and eventually came to lead the media team—finding a way to bring purpose to my passion.  

What value do media opportunities bring to companies?   

For the B2B companies we typically work with, the value of media opportunities is third party verification, but more importantly, signaling to their clients and potential clients that they have thought leadership and experience to distinguish them from the competition. This is extremely important in a commodified industry where companies are often competing on price. Data shows that executive decision-makers factor quality of thought leadership into the process of hiring a consultant or vendor, and media placements on reputable channels are what help make you more visible and credible.  

How are the dynamics of the media environment changing, and how is Stern adapting outreach accordingly? 

“The media” is bigger and more diverse than ever, but the traditional mass consumer press is dwindling as people turn more to social platforms, independent newsletters, podcasts, etc. This means a company looking to reach their audience has their work cut out for them in identifying where their target audience lives — something we at Stern specialize in finding out. 

In general, the reputable media with whom we work is more niche and gated in the new environment. This enhances opportunities for us to get the right, targeted coverage—provided we make and sustain the right relationships. There’s less mass pitching and relying on press releases; more one-on-one outreach and relationship-building. This is essential. The days of a blanket approach media strategy might still work for consumer brands but for our client base, pinpointing targeted outlets is the key.  

What is a “thinking in headlines” strategy and how do Stern experts use this strategy in media pitching?

We approach media outreach by doing part of a reporter’s or editor’s work for them—imagining what the published or posted headline will be when we devise pitches and angles. This entails an understanding of what motivates our media contacts and what they’re looking for. To land quality media coverage, you can’t just think from your own perspective. It all must start with the reporter or editor and their needs. When journalists are reviewing pitches, the question of whether there’s a headline there or not is top of mind for them. And they need to see the kind of headlines readers will click on, “like,” and share, as that’s required in today’s media business model.   

How does Stern stand apart from other firms providing media services? 

There’s two ways we stand apart. First, we specialize in high-level content that is meant for specific audiences. This means we’re ideal for consulting firms and other B2B organizations that have areas of expertise to highlight. We’re able to quickly absorb and process a vast amount of often complex thought leadership material and determine who we need to reach with it. Secondly, we have a devotion to building and maintaining key relationships—whether important industry trade editors, podcast hosts or reporters at major outlets like The Wall Street Journal or Financial Times. We eschew a “mass production” approach for an approach that’s tailored and personal—and it consistently delivers results.  

Developing and executing an effective media strategy for a B2B business is a foundational aspect of ensuring your organization’s message reaches the right audience through the most worthwhile channels.  

Our team understands demographics, interests and media consumption habits—allowing us to leverage our relationships and create new ones to reinforce your narrative, along with our exceptional pitching skills that highlight the newsworthiness of your expertise.  

We recognize that not every organization has media experience, so whether you are looking to explore media for the first time or need a seasoned pro, Stern can build a strategy suited to your business communications needs and goals.  

Interested in learning more? Reach out to to discover what a personalized program looks like for your organization.  

A robust public relations strategy is key to keeping up with the ever-changing media landscape and world around us – It elevates your brand and helps you build essential media relationships that align with your business goals. Partner with our team of seasoned PR professionals today.

Mastering Your B2B Media Strategy: Insights from a Media Relations Expert was last modified: May 31st, 2024 by Braylyn Bruno