Whether large or small, every business has an announcement that needs media coverage. Rather than waiting until the last minute, you should have a few key elements in place so you are more prepared when it is time to share the news.
From new hires to promotions, awards, safety achievements, facility upgrades, product innovations, mergers, acquisitions and other milestones, your company will have news to share. This news is valuable to your stakeholders such as your employees, customers, vendors, industry peers, elected officials, community leaders, media and more.
That’s why it is important to be prepared. Follow these basic tips to facilitate a smooth process as you prepare to reach out to the media.
Establish and confirm the company’s communications policy.
Even a company with a small number of employees should have a communications policy. You never know when there will be a need to reach out to the media or respond to a media query. Establish primary and secondary spokespersons for the media as well as the process for writing news releases and the approval and submissions process.
Have a solid “About us” section that is consistent with your tagline.
When researching, most media members will look at the company’s website, and the “About us” section is often the first peek into a company. Make sure your website is current and that your news release has a boilerplate that is consistent with the “About us” section on your website.
Social media platforms should be up to date.
The media and other stakeholders will also likely visit your social media platforms as well as your website. Make sure your social media sites’ content and photographs are relevant and up to date. In addition, be sure you do not “scoop” potential media coverage by first posting the news event on your social media and/or website.
Identify and provide quality photos.
Whether your company’s announcement is about a new hire, a charitable contribution or new product development, the media and the general public want a visual. That’s why you should have current, quality photos of the person, product or event to share with the media. Remember to properly identify photos and give the necessary photographer credit.
Highlight what makes your announcement newsworthy.
What is so important about your announcement? For example, if it is about a new employee, what is unusual about their history and/or position? If your company has received an award, what is the award’s significance?
Look for new ways to engage with the media.
If you have an item that you think is newsworthy, you should reach out to the media. Even if the media is not immediately able to cover story, you are helping to engage in future efforts. Remember, there is a lot happening in this world, so be committed to what you think is important, be aware of what is trending in the news cycle and find a way to show how your news matters.
This column was compiled by Karen Geriner Robertson, director of public relations and client development at RobMark – Web • Advertising • PR. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (912) 921-1040.