Media relations for PR departments in 2017

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The importance of media research conducted by a PR professional has attained much significance, perhaps never so much before as it is today. The rise of fake news and deliberate misinformation being common in today's times leads to substantial mutual loss of trust between media outlets and their business sources. While getting your message in front of an interested audience is still valuable, but the players on the news landscape are not the same as they have been.

However, the value of earned media coverage still remains strong, thereby paving the way for trustworthy news coverage in a bid to step up and seize the spotlight. While the current landscape may seem to be potentially confusing, but if you manage to navigate it, the potential rewards for your company still exists.


Re-commit to best practices

In an article on National Law Review on the difficulties that face PR in dealing with media outreach in the era of a fast and contentious news cycle , which has become the default 2017 environment, Knapp Marketing's Amy Knapp explains that it has been identified that with an endless stream of digitally generated chatter, it sometimes becomes a tedious task to produce actual stories and well-researched pieces. When major news coming from the U.S. government is delivered via tweet, performing the traditional story pitching process can seem pointless.

In order to be able to tackle such situations, Knapp offers the rejoinder that PR professionals need to stand strong, even when the evidence seems to insist that spin and constant back and forth are more valuable than research, honesty, long-term relationships with press outlets or even the truth. While the short-term attention may go to loud voices, long-term bonds of trust come from consistent credibility.


Researching and pitching

An effective mechanism to deal with such temporary trends is to get the kind of credible, long-term coverage that builds real value, which may mean going beyond pitching to outlets. PR Daily suggests that instead, you can zero in on the interests and beat of a particular writer by following the work of a journalist, and then determine where to pitch. Matching the right topic with a credible author who has shown an interest in the subject is the suggested way to launch not only the story in question but also any follow-ups.

While it appears to be fruitless to work so hard in delivering authentic information in today's era marked by blurred facts and high-speed news cycles, but the resulting stories can prove to be much stronger and more enduring than quick information blasts. Business 2 Community contributor Emily Sidley specified that for pitches to be relevant to journalists' regular readers, it pre-requisites your media research to discover what a news source's audience wants and remember that it's always a give and take bond. If you help writers sell their products, their stories, by making it appealing, it's a relationship that is free to develop.


Old-school attitude in a fast-paced world

The current media world is marked by fast news churn outs and is infected by fake and malicious stories. You may wonder whether applying a traditional level of scrutiny to writers and publications' histories to craft ideal pitches is a valuable approach to PR? If your PR department commits to media intelligence, with tools and processes in place that can keep up with today's media landscape, this deliberate approach to media outreach is still possible.