Media Coverage Alone is Not a PR Strategy

By January 26, 2016 July 28th, 2016 Industry Perspective

Recently, Ragan’s PRDaily reposted an article from the founder of a Bay Area communications agency, “PR’s obsession with media coverage.” Kevin’s point is reasonable and should be acknowledged by PR pros and marketing leadership: Media coverage is not synonymous with public relations, and not the only option for reaching target audiences with PR.

Don’t get me wrong, media relations is a staple at BLASTmedia – we’re good at it, and it drives results for our clients. But, media coverage alone can’t make up an entire communication strategy. With the amount of noise in modern marketing channels, and the short attention spans of audiences, it should just be one facet of an integrated marketing strategy.

Kevin mentions client news and product launches as instances when PR pros instantly turn to earning media coverage as a default tactic. He says, “The press is very rarely a company’s audience, but too often PR pros look at journalists as the target rather than a vehicle for reaching a target.” Valid.

To avoid making the mistake of thinking media coverage alone can drive a PR strategy, we suggest the below:

  • Every piece of company news is not necessarily worthy of third-party news coverage, but can warrant a press release, blog post and social promotion to show company momentum.
  • Just because a piece of company news doesn’t earn hundreds of media hits, doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile marketing tool. Stakeholders of all kinds see online press releases, they are no longer just for press.
  • Determine goals of media coverage instead of making media coverage the only goal. Ask yourself: What audiences are we trying to reach? What are they reading, watching and listening to?
  • If direct sales are the ultimate goal, media relations should most definitely be supplemented with digital advertising and other marketing tactics. Media coverage is top-of-the-funnel awareness, not a direct sales tool.
  • Once the media coverage runs, the strategy is not complete. Target media hits should be amplified using social media and digital advertising in order to reach the best audiences at the right time.

About Kim Jefferson

As a VP at BLAST, Kim’s decade of media relations experience guides strategic direction for account teams and clients. The intersection of her genuine passion for news media and tech allows her to find the hook in clients’ stories. She’s a mother to one angelic human child and one devilish canine child, and she spends her free time wrangling the two of them and watching TV dramas with her husband once they’ve gone to sleep.

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