An infographic from the website, SustainableMan.org, really drives home the reality of today’s state of the media … and the news media … in America. And, it’s a bleak image for anyone attempting to get the news media’s attention.
About six (6) mega-corporations own everything. Outfits like Viacom, Murdoch, and Comcast. Each has its own corporate agenda, political objectives, profit models, biases, rules, and lists of people they like and those they don’t like. And, here’s the harsh truth – they really don’t care about the mostly pre-digital ways that PR agencies and in-house communications people are trying to get their attention.
The PR world’s ancient style … or lazy crutch … of carpet-bombing the media with press releases, distributed blindly via such services as Vocus, PRNewswire or BusinessWire, or staging costly events that will be remembered for no more than a nanosecond are the absolute antithesis of what the media needs and cares about. The only exception might be for public disclosure reports by publicly traded companies. But the rest is ignored, diverted to spam filters as junk.
On the other hand, here’s how to get news media attention in the digital era – Make your own news.
- Develop a strategy – Learn how to write, walk, talk and act like the news media.
- Learn what kinds of news stories appeal to the handful of journalists who might write about your company, organization, or business sector. Believe me … it’s not more than a handful who are the influencers.
- When writing anything for the media, write it as a story. We are squarely in the time when digital storytelling captures attention.
- Journalists today are looking for interesting angles that appeal to their specific readers or viewers. Don’t talk with a Politico reporter about great ways to grow rutabaga.
- Provide all of the visual elements that makes for a story. The news media – print and broadcast – needs news photos, high definition broadcast quality news-style b-roll video, and audio soundbites. If you can credibly provide that material, your chances for coverage improve.
- Don’t talk about your organization because no one cares. People only want to know what value your business or organization might bring to their own lives.
- Use the phenomenally powerful online platform, WordPress, to present credible and legitimate news of your organization or company. While defensively disparaged by some old-school IT types, if WordPress is good enough for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, and countless other news organizations to use, it’s certainly effectively for your outfit.
- Make it a priority to target people who really matter to your organization. Quite often, it is more important for a corporation or organization to connect online with business prospects, funders, business partners, vendors, customers, suppliers, and government agencies, domestic or international. The target of an organization’s news might not even be the news media.
Remember that the media has been cutback, laid-off, reorganized, and trivialized into entertainment. Learn to make your own news.