Six steps to a killer media campaign

Media outreach is a core component in any traditional PR campaign, however success will depend on a number of elements. Based on our many interactions with journalists over the last sixteen years as one of Australia’s only independent PR agencies, IMPACT has devised a few best practice tips to help master an effective media campaign:

  1. Plan for success: The foundation to any campaign is to develop a strategy that encompasses all the essential project elements, these include:
  • Define what success looks like and establish KPI’s
  • Plan for key campaign milestones
  • Be ready to adapt campaign plans if required
  • Be prepared for the unexpected
  • Establish who your brand spokespeople are and ensure they are media trained [hyperlink to ‘Why media training isn’t about avoiding the truth’]
  • Establish who your media targets are and familiarise yourself with how they work
  1. Get your house in order: One of the first steps in any campaign is to identify key messages [hyperlink Strategic narrative workshops are the foundation to success] and make sure all company representatives are across these key messages. IMPACT recommends conducting a media training workshop to assist with the following:
  • Develop key messaging
  • Highlight aspects of your business that may be of interest to key journalists
  • Ensure spokespeople are comfortable speaking on message
  • Help the organisation communicate in one voice
  1. Preparation: Once you have established key messages, it is critical to ensure these are reflected consistently throughout all brand materials e.g. press releases, media backgrounders, website, social media channels etc. as journalists will reference these items when researching your brand. The preparation stage should address the following:
  • Ensure media materials offer engaging content with a call to action
  • Ensure all media biographies and company backgrounders are up to date
  • Ensure any newsworthy data or relevant research is included in materials
  1. Campaign Execution: Journalists get bombarded with hundreds of pitches every day so you have to produce a compelling pitch to stand out. Be concise and clear about why your story will interest their reader. In order to ensure effective campaign execution, you need to tailor and time your pitch to the media you’re targeting. Different media will be interested in different angles so you need to repackage your story to meet the varying editorial needs of each target, for example you will present your pitch differently when targeting news features compared to pitching for an opinion piece etc. Also, be aware of production schedules and editorial timelines as you may have to use rolling embargoes on media materials to facilitate long lead media.
  1. Line your ducks in a row: As journalists are more time poor than ever, it’s important to ensure that before you pick up the phone to speak to them or send your first email pitch, that you have a complete news package that provides everything they need to review the story. Make sure the following items are included in your pitch:
  • List of available spokespeople
  • Updated media backgrounders and biographies
  • High quality images
  • Any relevant research or statistics linked to the story
  • Any relevant infographics or graphs to illustrate the message
  • Any relevant website links
  1. Evaluation: Your post campaign assessment needs to examine what activity worked and what didn’t and why. Take away learnings are a valuable part of the de-brief and the most effective way to ensure improved performance in future projects. Outlined below are some useful questions to include in your campaign evaluation:
  • Were the campaign milestones achieved?
  • Were the campaign KPI’s achieved?
  • What story angles had impact with journalists?
  • What story angles didn’t resonate with journalists and why?
  • What learnings were gained around campaign timings?

For inspiration on great media outreach work check out the recent consumer campaign IMPACT conducted with Nestle [hyperlink to ALLEN’S #treatsizepython case study] launch their portion control initiative and new #TreatSizePython product.


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