Why media relations (as we know it) is dead

Breaking news screen for TV

Why media relations (as we know it) is dead

The role of public relations experts in media relations is to help brands share their stories, offer new angles on trending news and connect with their customers through open and honest communication with journalists. This has always been the case. But media relations is not what it once was.

Anyone hoping to gain news coverage for their business in 2022 needs to take a fresh look at their media relations strategy.

Gone are the days when journalists had time for long lunches with contacts, pounding the street for a story or indeed anything that doesn’t involve filing a report as quickly as possible. That’s not to mention their ‘Jack of all trades’ role capturing images, posting to social media and responding to their audience across multiple channels.

Twenty-four hour online news, massive reductions in advertising revenue and the pandemic have all played their part in changing the face of journalism. Today there are fewer people in newsrooms trying to cover more news than ever before.

All this adds up to a headache for businesses who want to cut through the noise and earn coverage.

So, how can brands respond? Here are some tips for stepping up your media relations strategy:

Pitch it right

The value of a well-packaged story has never been greater. If you can pitch a quality, multi-channel story a harassed hack is more likely to take notice.

This starts with the subject line of your email. Journalists receive dozens if not hundreds of messages each day. If your subject line doesn’t hook them in, your pitch is as good as wasted.

Tap into journalists’ personal audience

Most reporters have a presence on social media and some even have their own blogs or podcasts. This is particularly true of freelance journalists.

If you think you have a story that might pique their interest don’t just pitch to them as the reporter for publication X or radio Y. Pitch to them as their own media brand with ideas that will engage their personal audience.

Plan hybrid events

There was a time when it was difficult to stop hacks turning up on your doorstep – invited or otherwise. But a combination of the pandemic and budget cuts means you’ll now find them being much more picky about how they manage their day.

Attending a press conference or launch event in person may not be quite so appealing when they have multiple deadlines looming.

There’s still incredible value to be had from in-person interviews and networking. This always builds the best relationships and potential stories for everyone involved.

However, think seriously about whether a physical event is going to have the draw it once did. An online meeting or a hybrid event, where people can make the choice about being there, might win you the better return.

So that’s a quick insight into why media relations isn’t what it once was. The news machine is ever-changing, just like the world of marketing and PR.

If you want help getting on the news agenda, Amplify PR can help. Find out more about our media relations services.