(And Why You Might Get Better Results with a Non-Big City Agency)
Instantaneous Communication Is a Beautiful Thing – It’s not 1985, no one walks press releases over to TV stations anymore. It doesn’t matter where your agency is located in terms of effectively pitching the media. All firms interact in real time with business media all over the world on behalf of our clients and no one ever asks, “Are you based in New York?”
Madison Ave. Isn’t Cheap, Somebody Has to Pay for Those Digs – New York PR firms often charge massive retainers. So if you want to pay more just so you can say you have a PR firm in New York…it’s a free country.*
It’s a Big Retainer to You…But Maybe Not to Your NY Agency – Big city agencies are used to big retainers, so if you aren’t spending $30,000, $50,000 or $100,000 a month with them, you might not be a priority.
Airplanes…Outside Agencies Can Be in New York on a moment’s notice – Should you need to have people on the ground in the City, no matter where your agency is in the country, they can be in NY same day. And many have partners in the City if something more instantaneous is needed.
Good Media Relationships Don’t End at New York City Limits – Agencies all over the country have solid relationships with New York media. And like many of them, we are often in the city and meet with reporters and producers on a regular basis.
*There are plenty of reasonably priced boutique NY firms, but the percentage of firms with massive retainers in Manhattan is off the charts.
Find stakeholders worldwide. You can find anyone who has interest in your topics, no matter their location. In fact, many of the major social networks have a huge portion of their user base outside of the U.S.
Share your content exponentially. Not only can you share blog posts – and traditional media like TV interviews – with your followers, but they can share it with theirs. And then those people can share it with their networks, and so on.
Connect with online influencers. One very important aspect of social media is to connect with influencers who have a thousand, 50,000, 100,000 or more loyal followers or readers with whom you want to engage.
Answer questions and provide better customer service. Social media allows you to respond to questions and solve customer problems directly.
Listen to what your customers and competition are saying. You can see what is being said about you by your stakeholders and even what your competitors are saying.
Connect with traditional print media reporters, and TV and radio producers. They have flocked to Twitter and now you can engage with them and get to know them, which helps with traditional media coverage for your company.
1) Know Your Material … If you do, you’ll be far less likely to be caught off guard with a question and more importantly, you will build credibility with the reporter and the audience.
2) Know Specifically What You Are Going to Say … Be prepared. Have three to five points you want to convey about your position, keeping them clear and concise, especially if it’s a television interview.
3) Anticipate Objections … If you know you’re going to make waves with a call, be prepared to defend your position.
4) Stay on Message … If you don’t want to tread in a certain area, but you get a question about it, bring the discussion back to your key points. For example, you can say, “Well, we’re really advising investors to focus on the areas I’ve just outlined, A, B and C.”
5) Don’t Tell a Reporter Anything You Don’t Want to See in the Headline … Even if you are “Off-the-Record”, you’re still on it.
6) Be Available to the Media … Always respond promptly to reporters, even if you have nothing to say.
7) Make a Reporter’s Job Easier … Provide them with perspective, facts and help them do their job better and more efficiently. Keep in mind you probably know more about the topic than they do and may be able to direct the focus of the story.
8) Remember that the Media Doesn’t Have Your Best Interest at Heart … They want stories that get the attention of their audience and unfortunately, they may take your comments out of context if it serves their purposes, especially if you’re ambiguous. That’s why you must be clear about your position.