When you see a business featured in the newspaper, an entrepreneur interviewed on Forbes.com, or a handbag included in a magazine layout, it’s hard to consider the work that went into each of those placements before they became a reality, before they were in front of thousands of readers. Most small business owners and entrepreneurs know those placements are the key to visibility and pitching is the start of making that happen, but few understand the legwork happening behind the scenes, like scheduling, interview prep, calling, shipping products and even monitoring.
Most small business owners and entrepreneurs know those placements are the key to visibility and pitching is the start of making that happen, but few understand the legwork happening behind the scenes, like scheduling, interview prep, calling, shipping products and even monitoring.
A media relations policy is traditionally a corporate-style internal business tool meant to offer structure and consistency to the process of responding to media requests, which can happen at any time (even at 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon). This corporate-style idea is actually a valuable resource any entrepreneur or startup can put to work for their business and use to be completely prepared when media requests happen, rather than fumbling to figure out who’s going to take the call at the last minute.
Sometimes, you only get one chance to get it right and you don’t want your response to be a game-time decision that risks your reputation. A media response policy can help you prepare in advance who on your team is authorized to respond to press inquiries, what information to gather when they do and how to triage incoming requests for information, creative assets or time.
Whether you’re pitching media proactively or fielding a request for a subject matter expert or product, a media policy can help your business manage requests from press contacts timely and accurately while taking every opportunity to plug your message and your position.
Before you respond to your first (or 90th) media request, consider the following:
- What is the reporter/editor really asking for? Interpret what they’re asking for and what the story or interview angle is.
- Are you a good fit for this request? Does your subject matter expertise align with the article topic or story? Should you participate in this media request? You have the choice to participate or pass on every media request.
- Does this media outlet/writer/story angle align with my business goals and what I’m working to achieve right now?
These questions will better position you to take a path forward, whether it is to decline the opportunity or participate and pursue further. If you’re looking for more guidance on how to build a media response policy for your business, download our Done-For-You Media Response Policy.
There’s even a BONUS inside that walks you through exactly what you need to do when responding to a media query from HARO. It’s like we did the homework in advance and we’re sharing all our answers with you. With friends like us, you’ll never need to study again.
GET YOUR 2017 BUSINESS PLANNING IN GEAR WITH OUR 2017 PR CALENDAR!
We put all your traditional dates, hashtag holidays, national events, anticipated trending moments and our personal pitching field notes in one place to keep your brand relevant and newsjacking all year long.
Knowing these dates + peak pitching times can give your business a PR advantage in 2017. We put everything you need to know in one calendar so you can uplevel your PR in the New Year.