Over the summer, Ragan’s PR Daily posed an interesting question to media relations professionals – is the traditional PR pitch dead?
It’s a valid question. The world of journalism has certainly changed dramatically over the last decade. As more publications are laid to rest on the Newspaper Death Watch and the journalists that remain are forced to do more with less, brands have become their own content producers distributing their messages through videos, blogs, social media sites and a host of new digital channels.
Nevertheless, I argue that traditional media relations should still remain a part of your organization’s corporate reputation strategy. The third party credibility that comes from a traditional media placement has value and shouldn’t be tossed aside.
Of course, if you’re going to implement a media relations strategy, you need to make sure it’s a good one. With leaner staffs, journalists don’t have the time for cookie cutter media pitches that don’t relate to their beat. Now more than ever, communication pros need to understand what types of stories their intended media targets are covering and offer them information of value.
Here are three free media relations tools to help build your credibility with reporters and increase your chances of getting media coverage:
- HARO – Probably one of the most well-known resources for media relations, HARO (short for Help a Reporter Out) is a free notification service that connects you with reporters seeking sources for their articles (usually on tight deadlines). It’s a great resource for building relationships with the media. Even if your brand isn’t a fit for a particular opportunity, HARO is a helpful tool for finding new outlets that cover your topic area, identifying trends that your brand could potentially leverage and identifying freelancers who use HARO frequently for multiple outlets.
- MuckRack – While MuckRack offers a paid service for you to identify and pitch journalists by topic, publication or even what they link to, I use MuckRack’s free newsroom to identify the biggest trending topics among journalists on social media. The newsroom even allows you search by top publications. Don’t have time to check the website? Sign up for MuckRack Daily and receive an email digest of the hottest stories being talked about by the media.
- Hootsuite – After identifying reporters of interest through MuckRack or other general news scans, I use Hootsuite to keep track of them and get a better understanding of the stories they like to cover. Hootsuite allows you to follow individuals on Twitter and organize those Twitter users into “streams” so they don’t get lost in your news feed. It also helps you develop relationships with new reporters by making it easy to re-tweet or reply to their content.
Have a good media relations resource I missed? Feel free to share the love in the comments below.
Written by Standing Partnership