Start any media relations push with your optimal outcome in mind

Clients often understand the value that media visibility can add to their new business efforts, but are not sure where to start, or where to focus to get the most bang for their buck. As a general rule, it’s best to start with the end in mind. Keep in mind that the goal of public relations is to drive a behavior.

Write down your reputation goals. Who do you want to read about you and what do you want them to think? In other words, what would you like your reputation to be among your target audience?

You also need to determine what media sources your target audience uses. If you’re not sure, do an unofficial phone poll of a few clients and prospects to find out what they’re reading and how often.

After you lay the groundwork, you can start determining exactly what topics you can or should discuss in the media that would encourage your audience to see you as an expert in a way that will create business leads and strengthen current client relationships.

When you are trying to determine these topics, think about what questions or requests for advice you are getting from members of your target audience. Think of trends or developing issues that you are particularly able to offer analysis or creative solutions for target industries. Also sketch out the kinds of news stories where you can add insight.

Once you have a plan, stick to it. Stay on target and keep driving the same messages through strategic quotes in a continuum and variety of media placements. The target audience will not change or initiate a behavior based on one article, but rather after seeing you many times in several key media outlets.

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