It should have been me!

It’s happened quite a few times to me over the years. A client will email me with a link to a story about one of their rivals and words to the effect of: ‘Why are they getting all this publicity when we are doing a much better job than they are?’

The simple answer: ‘Because we are not telling them. You are busy and have not briefed us about the great work you are doing. That means we don’t have the raw material. We can’t create a story and pitch it out to the channel media.’

If you are going to get coverage, senior people have to dedicate time to briefing stories. We Dedicate some time to briefing, brainstorming, reading and approving copy, and talking to journalists, and you will get some positive results.

We always do our best to make sure customers understand this and can give us the time we need to create good stories that will be of genuine interest to the media.

What you don’t want is to see stories that talk up your rivals when you know that you have a better product or service. If that happens, yes, you can respond, but you can’t just go to the publication and say ‘we are better’ – that’s just not a story. You have to get on the front foot and get there first.

Even then, you won’t always get the results you want straight away or every time. You need to be persistent and keep working at it, just as you would if you were trying to get into a new and strategic account.

Should you ever find yourself seeing a story about a competitor that should really have been about you, maybe you should be doing more to get your profile up in channel media. But be aware, you will need to put some of your own time into making it happen.


Why it’s still important to put a real face to a name with channel media

The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has been much the same for channel media as it has for everyone else. It’s meant staying away from the office and the close contract with colleagues, which can be a real drawback for journalists, as they are constantly exchanging information and contacts across the desk and listening in on other interviews and conversations.

On the other hand, it’s meant that, like most office-based workers, they have not had to endure the daily toil of commuting in and out of the office each day. Their work-life balance will have improved, and they won’t want to give that up.

Like other businesses, publishers are also likely to now adopt a hybrid approach to working practices, allowing reporters and editors to work at home much of the time. But they will still want two or three days in the office to benefit from that cross-talk and the vibe that you get when you are part of a news gathering team.

Another upside that media has shared with industry in general is the increased use of simple video conferencing. They have done more interviews on Zoom and Teams, and that’s likely to continue. This is a good thing for everyone. The conversation can be much more personable on a video conference. You can get to know each other a little better. It’s more relaxed and considered and you can see how the other person is responding to what you are saying.

That said, meeting them in person will continue to be something that you should do when you get the chance. In the end, it is all about relationships and to maximise your chances of coverage, you need to build positive and mutually respectful relationships with journalists.

Media have missed face-to-face interaction as much as everyone else in the industry and can’t wait to get back to live events.
For this reason, we’d advise you to participate in as many industry- and media-backed events as you can – and while you are there, take the trouble to seek out members of the channel media that you’ve engaged with over the last 18 months, even if it is just to say ‘hello’ and put a real face to a name. It can make all the difference.