What We Do > Media Relations
What is it?
Media Relations, at its core, aims to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship between the media and an organisation. Client’s objectives are varied and vast. The goal may be to build consistent public awareness in a positive and credible light, to inform readers and viewers of a company’s mission and policies, or of an important event or achievement.
For both mass and specialist media, this means coordinating with the people who produce news and features, usually journalists and editors.
Media relations is a largely intangible service but can provide a great return on investment for businesses when planned and implemented well. While press coverage is measured in newspaper articles and features, the impacts of media relations are not as easy to quantify. Impacts are largely indirect as the focus is on gaining third-party endorsements of a product, service, idea, or even a person, but are vital.
Transforming Media Landscape
The media landscape is transforming drastically on a global scale. What is understood by the term media has become far broader. The 24-hour news cycle, the growth in digital channels and social media, and the replacement of full-time staff journalists with freelancers has changed the storytelling process and traditional approaches to relationships with the media.
Today, journalists can rarely take four hours out of a working day to attend external press conferences unless it’s for a truly exceptional figure or announcement, for example. Resources are increasingly scarce.
Editorial independence, however, remains a firm and significant value. Journalists will not cover stories without a relevant news angle appropriate to their readers. Decisions to run or discard a story are made quickly, so a PR agency’s media relationships and rapport with journalists are fundamental.
In essence, the job of a good PR agency is to act as an advocate: developing and telling a client’s story in a way that meets everyone’s needs. Journalists and influencers need interesting stories, and clients need to communicate important messages – being a trusted source for both is the target.
How we can help
At Sherlock, we pride ourselves on strong media relationships and an outstanding reputation. Our multi-lingual team is highly skilled at navigating the increasingly competitive media landscape, from digital channels to traditional print. Our fundamental media relations philosophy is simple: always be relevant, interesting and reliable.
We work closely with our clients to truly understand their product, brand and business aims and objectives. Using this insight, we develop a strong strategy with creative storytelling that places our clients on the right platforms and publications.
Journalists will only cover stories that their readers and viewers would find interesting so a central part this strategy is ensuring we have compelling answers to four basic questions:
- Is this a genuinely newsworthy, topical story given the current news agenda?
- What is different and interesting about the brand, product or services being announced?
- How is it specifically relevant to my region?
- How is it specifically relevant to my readership or sector?
The impartiality of third-party media is essential in creating and sustaining a sturdy reputation. To build strong working relationships across the media landscape – with journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and influencers – we provide accurate stories in the desired format and timeframe. We find the right hook and quickly capitalise on the current news agenda. Our hard work in promoting and maintaining a positive reputation for clients boosts their media profiles with credible and positive news stories.
What we do
As with all successful strategic campaigns, planning is paramount. In many cases, one well-placed article on a popular national blog will be more powerful and generate more syndications, links, and shares than a piece in a national title.
A short four-paragraph piece offered to a popular columnist may be picked up more widely than an 800-word feature in the same newspaper.
In an era of a never-ending appetite for content, an editor will sometimes prefer a relevant, well-written, by-lined article with strong photography to a standard press release.
An appreciation of these subtleties and understanding of different editorial priorities is the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful campaign.
From its inception, Sherlock has established and maintained long-term relationships with journalists and top media outlets including Forbes, GloboNews, Folha de São Paulo, Tecmundo, Clarín, and La Nación. These relationships offer several advantages to our clients.
Firstly, Sherlock isn’t an unknown face from an unknown company. We are a friend, a fan as well as a potential collaborator, and therefore more likely to gain positive press coverage. With more familiarity and trust, we can often get more control over the narrative, allowing us to reinforce our desired messages and brand image.
And it works both ways. Thanks to our substantial network, we are also approached frequently by journalists looking for sources for a feature or an article. These relationships are incredibly useful in establishing our clients’ brand, reputation and authority. Our sustained effort means that our clients’ voices are heard.
Five Major Benefits
Five major benefits of incorporating media relations campaigns:
- Third-party validation – independent validation from credible, third-party sources is essential. Discerning consumers can easily identify adverts, fake news as well as dubious customers reviews and rating systems. Endorsements are more valuable when reported by the media because readers know they are third-party vetted.
- Substantial content – Media relations activities can increase the impact of content more cost-effectively. Planning media-friendly content with a strong angle and storytelling significantly increases the likelihood of coverage. Earned media significantly impacts a brand’s profile and engagement with their target audience.
- Branding – Media relations, as part of an integrated PR strategy, helps reinforce brand strategies in key channels. It can generate significant value through association with a trusted information source. The core element is communicating brand identity in media relations so both prospective and existing customers fully associate the brand with its products and services. Taking the time to get the message right makes it easier to build enduring media relationships.
- Lead Generation – we can ensure all content is valuable and media-friendly, and that events and content marketing include keywords, landing pages and teaser footage – all having editorial value to the target media outlets. This can create a significant boost to lead-generated campaigns.
- Advocacy for Your Point of View – Explaining and highlighting the value of a client’s products and services value is important. Demonstrating why it matters ensures your point of view is heard and understood.