The Essential Nature of Media Relations

Businesses are like living organisms. They are created, they grow and they evolve, which means their approaches to media relations must similarly develop to achieve specific goals at each stage of corporate maturity.

Take a moment to think about your own organization. Is your business still flourishing, characterized by a spirit of entrepreneurialism, flexibility and creativity? Or, has your organization reached a more mature or even stagnant stage, often characterized by a sense of bureaucracy, a controlled environment and a defined hierarchy?

Understanding your organization’s place on the corporate life cycle is critical for developing an effective media relations campaign. Too often, communicators try to secure media coverage for the sake of it. But effective media relations involves a clear, strategic link to your organization’s mission and business goals.

Let me guide you through the process:

Stage 1: Starting Up

Media relations is essential to boosting brand awareness, visibility and credibility for start-up companies. There is a misguided belief among some entrepreneurs that if you build something great, the marketing will take care of itself, and the press will come knocking on your door to learn more.

Unfortunately, the world is littered with companies and products that failed to take hold simply because no one ever heard of them.

Here’s where media relations comes in. Media relations specialists are responsible for cultivating and moderating communications between organizations and various media outlets ranging from niche blogs to major newswires, radio broadcasts and television stations. They can help companies solidify their images and expertise in the marketplace, while developing messaging that resonates among key audiences.

Media relations specialists can also help businesses grow organically. They can craft narratives that will earn the confidence of stakeholders, bankers and potential investors. They can help organizations find and attract top talent. By focusing on media relations early on, companies can start building their corporate reputations, setting foundations that will help them thrive for years to come.

Stage 2: Growth

As businesses reach the next stage of the corporate life cycle, customers and other stakeholders expect to see growth in revenue, staff and the suite of  products and services they offer. Corporate branding becomes more important to ensure all company communications and materials have a consistent theme and message.

And media relations is essential again – not only to communicate that the company is healthy and poised to be even more successful in the future, but also to help drive the bottom-line.

That’s right. If properly targeted and effectively implemented, media relations can support the achievement of even the most aggressive sales and marketing objectives.

By adding calls to action to press releases, social media posts and content marketing materials, media relations specialists can entice prospective customers to make a move, download an app, or rush to drive traffic to a website. Relevant media coverage can also be shared with sales teams who, in turn, can showcase corporate success to their clients.

Stage 3: Prime time

The role of media relations continues to evolve as companies become more mature in their corporate life cycle. Organizations operating at their prime are characterized by employees working toward achieving the company’s vision with a high level of productivity and effectiveness.

Strategic leadership takes on the utmost importance, and media communicators are intimately involved with designing and shaping the company’s narrative. This involves establishing a thought leadership position, and telling the business story to the press in an authentic and authoritative way.The resulting case studies and teaching stories continue to be valuable in sales, negotiations and presentations to key stakeholders.

Does your organization need help articulating its message and building brand awareness? Contact me or follow me on Twitter!

This post was written for Paragon by Ivette Almeida.

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