Media coverage has long been a staple of public relations. Being in the media is a good way to get the name of a person, business or brand’s known by a broad audience. What else can it achieve? Plenty!
Here are a few examples from my own experience.
- Showcase your expertise. A social service agency I worked with noticed many school children felt anxious when report cards were coming out. We highlighted the agency’s understanding of children and families by placing a newspaper story in January offering tips for parents on handling this stressful time for children.
- Reflect broad issues through individuals’ stories. A patient advocacy group I worked with placed a holiday story showing how chronic illness affects people’s lives. We asked our members how they would work around their physical challenges to enjoy Christmas and New Year activities. One woman loved decorating her home elaborately but did it over several weeks to conserve her energy. With her permission, we took this to local media for a feature piece including photos of her decorations. The story mentioned the facts of this little-known illness in a context everyone could understand.
- Advance a point of view. When you have no fresh news, try for opinion pieces. Following the release of a report that made national news, a health coalition I worked with sent spokespersons to brief editorial writers on the issue in their states. The result: newspapers called for changes based on the report’s findings.
Carefully thought-out media coverage can achieve these goals and more. What stories do you need to tell in the news?