Consulting businesses building a public relations campaign must build a media base and must learn the art of creating and distributing press releases. The more distinctive the press release, the greater your opportunity for success. The media is overwhelmed with self-serving, uninspired press releases. Your press releases must be newsworthy and of interest to the public.
To begin building a media contact list, refer to online sources such as Cision, or Burrelle Luce or Media Finder. These sources will identify media experts and contacts by name, address, telephone number, e-mail addresses and media connection.
Target the media connections that will be interested in your expertise or consultancy. Follow their articles and contact them to show your interest in their stories. Address relevant press releases about your consulting business and the work of your clients to these media sources.
At social occasions, seek these contacts out. Introduce yourself and comment about their recent work. Your success with the media will reflect your patience and your management skills. Once you get in the door, be ready for that initial presentation. If handled correctly, it will lead to more exposure.
Give Them The Goods
When that first interview or request for an article arrives, make sure you deliver the goods. The pressure is on the media to deliver news. Your publicity role is to help fill that need. You must be newsworthy.
Make sure your topic is suited for the public and make sure your point of view brings fresh, valuable insight. If the audience cannot differentiate your position from run-of-the-mill voices, you are not newsworthy.
If your position is contrary to public opinion, it may very well be newsworthy. Make sure you can support this position with facts and figures. Consultants should know what topics are current and how the public and the media views these topics.
Media representatives like to have the scoop. They acquire that reputation by getting to the bottom of the story. Work with the media and be available to let them develop a story through you. Be the source, but let them conduct their interviews. They are reporters and you are the source. This works well for consultants.
You must be available when the media bell rings so be prepared. They want their story and they want to break that story. Your preparedness will let them get on with the presentation. While you must be ready, you must also be disciplined. Do not get trapped into discussing a topic for which you are unqualified.
Always be courteous and thank your media contact for the opportunity. When you see an event or come across relevant material, let the contact know you were thinking of them and send the material along. Gradually, you will become their source.