We recently submitted an article to an editor ahead of deadline, which is not unusual in our line of work, or maybe it is?! The reaction we received was of genuine thanks and extreme gratitude. Clearly, the response of someone who doesn’t usually get things when they ask for them. It made me think about the potential benefits to an organisation of being agile, responsive and quick to react with its key media. Read on for some of our tips for how to create the processes, infrastructure and content that means you can respond faster than any of your competitors and capture more than your fair share of media coverage.
- Create a bank of core content
Having pre-generated, core content will allow you to react quickly and efficiently to changes or developments in your industry. Having several pieces of pre-existing core content to draw on will allow your company to offer relevant, topical and well-researched stories to key publications quickly. Speed is key. When a news story affecting your business or your industry breaks, you no longer have the luxury of time to create materials from scratch.
Core content can be created using webinars, industry research papers, conference and sales presentations, market research studies and expert interviews.
Having pieces of content in place means that your company has at its fingertips:
- Key information about your business, products, industries and market sectors
- Examples of success stories with customers
- Market or industry-led insights that have been well thought out
- Content that fits your strategic priorities.
Each of these pieces of content can be re-purposed to form the basis of articles, interviews, social media content, infographics, landing pages, eBlasts, company profiles, commentaries and press releases, all covering a number of different topics that are suitable for different publications in your priority markets and geographies.
- Ensure you have media trained spokespeople
With the astonishing speed at which news stories break and spread, it could become crucially important for your organisation to speak with the media with little or no advance warning. Having media trained spokespeople within your organisation means that your business is ready to tackle interviews with journalists to offer insight and opinion on important news within your industry or your own business.
Journalists will want to learn about industry ‘hot topics’ that will be of interest to their audience, including new technologies, product development and launches. They will be meeting you with a view to forming a relationship with an industry thought leader who can provide a source of future content for publication. From your perspective, you can use the media as a mouthpiece to communicate your key messages to your target audience, secure your share of ‘noise’ in the media and create a good relationship with the journalist so that they give positive reviews of your company and products.
Your chosen spokespeople can be trained to be prepared to offer comment on important stories affecting your industry. Media training will help you understand how to interact effectively with the media while managing both the best interests of your company, and the expectations and needs of the journalist.
- Monitor social media
With the birth of the Internet just 25 years ago came a new communication phenomenon – social media. Facebook launched in 2004, and it now has over 2 billion active monthly users. 500 million tweets are sent per day on Twitter, and the total number of LinkedIn users has now reached 467 million with two new members joining every second. Social media channels allow news to go ‘viral’. Monitoring social media will help you to keep in touch with information that impacts your company, your industry and your customers. With the speed at which news has the potential to go spread on social media, it is practical to have prepared and approved reactions and responses to both positive and negative news and information that directly or indirectly involves your organisation.
Following these three simple steps should help your company to manage and even master the fast moving media landscape in which we operate today. But are deadlines dead? The speed at which news travels has increased, as have the number of channels on which news and information is delivered. With the addition of digital media to traditional print and broadcast media, the way people consume media has also changed, with the introduction of smart phones, tablets and other mobile media devices.
The fact remains, though, that when an organisation chooses to interact with a chosen media channel, it is making a commitment to contribute a relevant, topical and well-written piece of content within an agreed time frame. So, no, I don’t believe the deadline is dead. In fact, the deadline or time frame in which we have to create and share content has never been more important – missing an agreed deadline can mean missing a key opportunity to communicate with your audience while a story is ‘hot’.
Organisations may need to re-asses their current processes for the effective management of creating, distributing and monitoring all of their communications in order to meet the speed and complexity of the modern media landscape.
If you would like more advice on how your company can learn to harness the power of the media, please contact us at [email protected] or give us a call on +44 1477 539539.
By Ruth McKinney, Senior Account Manager, The Scott Partnership.