Engaging the Press in the Era of Social Media Dominance. Key Takeaways from PRCA and The Work Crowd Webinar
Engaging the Press in the Era of Social Media Dominance

As traditional media outlets have become less popular in recent years, social media platforms have emerged as dominant players in the era of rapid digitalisation. And this trend enabled the widespread legitimisation of user-generated content. So how to capture the journalists’ attention in this realm?

On April 26, Drofa Comms attended an online webinar organised by PRCA NextGen, The Work Crowd, and Independent Consultants Groups on PR engagement with the press. The discussed topics included insights, key trends in the current media landscape, and practical hints and tips on capturing journalists’ attention.

The panel discussion was led by Alice Weightman, co-founder of the Work Crowd and Chairman of the PRCA Independent Consultants group, who was joined by PR professionals and journalists with outstanding backgrounds – Adam Fresco, Deborah Binner, and Arun Asthana. Here are the main takeaways on how to best engage the press in today’s rapidly changing world.

How to capture journalists’ attention

  • Be relevant. One thing has stayed the same: journalists always look for exciting stories. As PR professionals, we should help our clients shape their stories and make them relevant and fitting to trends and context. 
  • Pay extra attention to the first sentences. Always remember to spend a little extra time creating a catchy intro. Your text will not be published if the most fascinating part is in the fifth paragraph.  
  • Put your story in the broader frame. Think about how your client’s company or product affects a wider audience. What is the impact? Why should people be interested and care about it?

How to build constructive conversations and relationships with the press

  • Be an expert. You speak the same language as the journalist when you know the market, terms, and trends. This is how you go way ahead of competitors. 
  • Personalise and network. Build meaningful connections, talk to journalists at conferences, and occasionally invite them for coffee. Personal contacts work better. After all, no advanced technology or AI can do this better than you.
  • Choose the right journalist for the story. Spend more time researching potential journalists: check their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, and find the best fit. It might annoy journalists when PR professionals send their press releases left and right to the wrong people from different industries.

How to make your brand newsworthy to get the best coverage

  • Go local. This tip is for you if you have a niche company as a client. Journalists usually check local news, and this is how your story may go national.
  • Do not sell your product. Instead, sell a story about the problem and a solution.
  • Work with influencers. Your younger audiences will appreciate it.

“These insights come in especially handy as the media landscape constantly changes and our access to information is readily available at our fingertips. PR professionals need to learn how to make their publications news-worthy and secure that coveted key coverage”, says Alina Sysoeva, Senior Account Manager at Drofa Comms.