New Year, New Rules? How to manage media relations in a digital world in 2016

Categories: News

By Jo Ann Johnston, IABC London President-Elect

Welcome to 2016. Here are five things to consider when managing your media relations programs this year.

The press release is dead. Or is it?

Before we put the press release to pasture, let’s revisit the undeniable virtues of the staple in the public relations tool box:

  • It’s legit. A news release legitimizes the source on company letterhead, with contact information leading straight to the media contact.
  • Just the facts, Jack. If you wrote it, you own it. Company facts, stats and quotes are right if they come from the source: the PR, compliance and legal departments.
  • Distribution made easy. The old fashioned news release goes up on the wire and company website for all to see. Just don’t send it and forget it, your work has only just begun.
  • Create constant content. The news – company hires, milestones and recognition – can start with you, but it doesn’t end there.

Content rules. Sharing does too.

Any comprehensive media strategy aligns with organizational messaging. This year, find creative ways (and the time) to engage with content contributors outside your own organization. In 2016, you must find ways to share your content on blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to drive traffic and engagement.

Move your media kit online.

More and more media kits are becoming digital. Gone are the days of handing out paper, folders and memory sticks. Colorful, visual content – video, infographics and photos – can be uploaded and downloads tracked in real-time. Bundle media content on a microsite and ensure each piece of content is easily sharable.

A problem isn’t a problem, if you prepare for it.

There is no predicting, or preventing, a media relations crisis. But some catastrophes can be averted with careful thought and planning. In 2016, spend more time preparing for the unexpected – including social media screw ups. Remember: good PR is invisible and so are trolls.

The long and short of it.

Social media outlets dominate the breaking news market. Heck, your media pitch often starts on Twitter. But don’t forget about your long-lead outlets. Yes, they still exist. Monthly publications, on and off-line, still follow editorial calendars and publishing schedules as far a year in advance. Go figure.

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