It often surprises the team at Recognition PR how frequently we line up a media interview, or the opportunity to write a by-lined article, only to have the spokespeople query the deadline and ask for extensions. Why, they wonder, does it need to be so soon?
The media environment at the moment is more competitive than ever. There are fewer publications, less space and journalists are generally expected to cover more areas. When opportunities present themselves businesses need to be prepared to respond.
In the past, many media opportunities may have required a response time of a week, or even a month, many deadlines are now shorter. Businesses may, in some instances, only have hours to respond to opportunities.
Media deadlines are not negotiable. What’s more, if you promise you’ll deliver, you must do so in order not to damage your personal brand (and your agency’s).
In order to respond quickly there are some basic things businesses can do.
Firstly, where possible have multiple spokespeople available. There’s nothing worse than having a brilliant opportunity and not being able to track down an authorised spokesperson.
Secondly, communicate your availability. Taking leave? Let the PR and communications teams know. Everyone heading off for an overseas conference make sure you leave contact details and understand that your local operations must go on.
Hold off distributing media releases when you know spokespeople have back-to-back meetings or will be hard to reach. Nothing annoys a journalist more than when you issue news and there’s no-one available to talk about it.
Waiting to get back to journalists, for even 24 hours, in the current environment can mean missed opportunities to talk about your business. Worse still, it may mean that the journalist has found someone else that fits the bill, likely a competitor.
Make sure your business has a media strategy in place now to leverage every opportunity that comes your way.