The three (or four) media people you need to know.
The three (or four) media people you need to know
We’ve all heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” – this is a truism for the media like no other industry. Sometimes the least qualified or experienced experts are quoted or interviewed, purely because of who they know, while the best remain unknown.
As a business that is seven years old that works with ‘experts’ and ‘what they know’ you would think we would be subscribing to the opposite theory. It would make sense since Media Stable has over 300 experts from all sectors and industry who are vetted for ‘what they know’. Funnily enough, we subscribe to both theories but the ‘who you know’ is where the difference is made in today’s modern media world.
Let’s take this a little further, more importantly from the media’s perspective, do they know you? Are you visible to them? Do you have a track record of working with media? Are you good media talent? All questions that need to be answered in the affirmative if you are likely to be used. Media today is less likely to acknowledge, look at or respond to a media release or email from someone they do not know. Think about all the emails you delete that are unsolicited and irrelevant. You delete them, right! Media does this religiously. That’s why you need to think twice before buying a database or list of contact email addresses, as these people still have no clue who you are. The people selling it to you are still trading in a media world of a decade ago, where these distribution lists were moderately effective. Today those emails are often heading straight to ‘junk’.
So, the first person you need to know in media is a good PR or media consultant that knows the media. Ask them straight up who their contacts are at the top three media outlets are that you want to be a part of. If they don’t know anyone or can’t supply proof they have worked with them before, walk away. You are about to invest in a lemon.
The second person you want to know is a journalist or producer that writes about your subject or broadcasts content relating to your expertise. You need to identify that person yourself and start building a relationship. That means you need to consume media, especially your target media. Once you are familiar with your target media, ask yourself these questions, “who is the journalist that I want to engage with? Who is the most influential media in my space?” Once they’re identified, that is the person you need to build a relationship with. We can help but you need to be an asset to that journalist.
If you have a content writer, a marketing and public relations arm or you have hired a freelance journalist to support you in your messages to media, this is the third person you need to know. More importantly though, make sure that they know you, your views, your opinions and your position. Too often the crafted message from an outsider rarely matches the position or view of the talent or expert. You have hired them; make sure they spend the time to get to know you.
There is another person you should know and this is difficult to present without it sounding like a sales pitch for Media Stable. It’s an outsider in some cases, a trusted advisor and even a trusted platform that can give you unbiased advice and mentoring. A platform that isn’t paid to say ‘YES’ every time and will give you honest feedback. Media Stable was built to do just this. It just isn’t your reputation on the line every time you put something out there, it’s ours as well.
Get to know the three, maybe four people, in media that you need to. The person responsible for the communications of any business needs to do this, along with the business owner.
If you can get to know all of these people, your media journey is going to be a much smoother ride.
By Nic Hayes, Managing Director, Media Stable.