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5 things media told us to tell you

If you are serious about your intention of being seen more in traditional or new media then you have some work to do. Here are some off the inside secrets and advice from some of the best producers in the country. 

Whether you are a finance, legal, health, retail, construction or education expert. If you are an academic, a political commentator or a relationship expert you need to have certain disciplines in place.

1. Always be available – if you have put out a Media Board story, sent out a release or have arranged a time to speak make sure you honour that commitment by being available on your phone. A turned off phone when you are looking to build relationships and connect with media is the death of your chance of ever being used by that medium again.  If you are being called up from the directory you are not expected to be available all the time but the more you make yourself available the greater the return comes back to you.

2. Know me and my program – producers all over the country have complained about this and I have even heard of some media banning PRs and communications people for continually missing this point. It’s easy and it is common courtesy – if you want to be featured on my program, in my paper or online site, then make the effort to know what I like, what I have published or broadcast in the past. It’s not difficult to do.

3. Speak to my audience – Audience is everything, you will hear this from all media and you need to adapt your approach for each media outlet that you deal with. An FM station will want something a little different to that of the ABC. Language, tone, humour, content, statistics and pitch will all vary between media types and platforms. Research in this area pays off.

4. Have that hook ready to use – don’t hold back on getting straight to the point on why your story is a must for the media you are contacting. You have a very short window of opportunity and there is no prize for coming second. Get the hook or what we refer in storytelling as ‘the thing’ out there as early as you can. Ultimately the first line you want to hear from media is, ‘interesting tell me more’.

5. Be courteous and honest – There’s no point in pitching an exclusive story if you plan on giving it to everyone at the same time. Don’t play media off each other, that will only get them annoyed and it is not a pressure point. Tell the truth at all times, there is no need to exaggerate, embellish or tell lies. You will get caught out, waste the time of the media and destroy your credentials with that medium.

Most of this is fairly straightforward but it is incredible how many get it wrong. Communications professionals are breaking these simple rules at alarming rates, let alone those business owners who are communicating with media directly.  If you want more tips on how to get in with the media, get in touch with Media Stable.

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