Big news, fake news, breaking news. Whatever way you frame it, you’ll have noticed that we’re now exposed to more sources of news and fresh information than ever before.And, while this development has a number of drivers, it raises one big question in terms of your PR and comms campaign: which media should you be targeting?
We’ve previously discussed first steps when it comes to getting your message down on paper and developing that first press release. After spending a lot of time researching and crafting your message, you should put just as much thought into where you’re aiming to place it.
For each story, release or targeted media campaign we develop, we put together a tailored list of titles and media contacts we’re confident will want to hear about what you have to say – and, in turn, lend their editorial seal of approval while passing that message on to their readers.
How is a tailored list of news titles created?
It starts with research into the stories and themes that news titles and journalists are reporting on at any given time, and countless conversations with the journalists and editors themselves. This is also a good opportunity to gain an insight into what’s likely to be of interest to them in future.
As a result, and over time, it becomes much easier to ensure that your message reaches the right ears.
A variety of news titles
Even within a somewhat niche sector like renewable energy, there is still a wide variety of media titles out there, all with their own focuses and specific interests.
Some will report on the latest and biggest commercial deals shaping the sector; others on the policy decisions and national trends fuelling the sector’s expansion; and still others will take greater interest in the innovative clean energy technologies being developed and deployed around the world. Your opinion on the latest changes to the FiT may be of particular interest to reNEWS or Recharge, for instance, while the latest innovations in turbine or foundation technology will appeal more to Windpower Engineering or Windtech International.
But trade and sector titles aren’t the only ones you should be considering. If your latest project or development is located in France or Pakistan, for instance, you’re going to want to be in contact with local and national press in those markets.
First and foremost, however, it’s important to bear in mind that the majority of titles writing on renewable energy are located in Europe and North America – as these are the regions where clean energy technologies have most clearly established themselves.
That said, as renewable energy continues to proliferate and enter new markets, so should your press lists continue to expand and as you make new media contacts around the globe. Of course, communicating across timezones and with journalists whose first language may not be English, or who may not be as au fait with the technology or the industry, brings with it an added layer of complexity.
Fundamentally, however, the same rules apply when it comes to targeting specific international media. It’s that same level of media research, and commitment to developing lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with relevant journalists, that will allow you to consistently provide them with engaging comment.
Why do you need to target your message?
And this knowledge is power, for two reasons. Knowing which titles within the sector are likely to be most interested in what your business has to say, and tailoring your message accordingly, helps guarantee your story coverage in the short term.
And, in the long term, this commitment to understanding what makes a title tick helps develop and foster long-term relationships with editors and media in the sector. In turn, this means that, when it comes to commissioning bylines and feature articles on a particular topic, you are front and centre in their thinking.