Three Top Tips for Using Classic Public Relations in the Digital World
The world around us has reached digital-first communications at speeds that have stunned technology experts. With the rapid decline and shuttering of print newspapers and magazines, it’s no surprise to see the wider media and public relations industries adopt and adapt to digital practices as well.
And when you factor in the 24-hour news cycle, many traditional public relations practitioners – including the experts here at Integrate – are left wondering: “Where do classic public relations tactics fit into the digital landscape?”
Our internal discussions about this topic reached a tipping point when we were tasked with creating buzz around Alamo Drafthouse’s newest Houston-area location opening in Katy, TX. Not only did we face the obstacle of getting media to show up to a hard-hat tour in a physical location, but the fact that Katy is a suburb 20+ miles west of downtown Houston increased the potential difficulty of the sell.
In order to draw the media out, we knew we had to take a highly strategic approach with our traditional public relations efforts. We created a successful event using the following three tactics, ones that can have wider resonance in the greater marketing world.
1) Offer Great Visuals
In order to find success in the digital media landscape, you must be able to provide an eye-catching visual experience, one that isn’t limited to print anymore. Because of the competition on the web and social media, the race to attract eyeballs is in full swing at all times.
Let’s face it: imagery a must with every story, no matter the medium. And with staff counts decreasing at newspapers and magazines – and little time to source that imagery themselves – your ability to provide members of the media with killer visuals they don’t have to work for will goes a long way.
In the case of our hard-hat tour at the new Alamo Drafthouse location, it was about more than the tour itself – it was about the tangible visual experience we provided the media at the new facility.
2) Work Your Angles
Even in the digital world, the difference between getting picked up and getting ignored will always lie in the quality of your pitch. Thus, while a story may not be so interesting at surface level, if you can creatively work your angle into something timely or relevant, you’ve got an in with that member of the media.
Since our event was in a relatively inconvenient location, we knew we had to address that right out the gate. We spun this to our advantage by pitching the new Katy location as exclusive – as in “No one had gotten access yet, and you will be the first.”
In addition to this angle, we focused on the local economic implications of the new location, the food and beverages that would be served, new technology, and of course, the movies that would be on the screen. For each angle, we were able to match the appropriate reporter with a dedicated Alamo Drafthouse spokesperson relevant to their beat.
3) Make Their Job Easy
It’s important that you make the media’s job as easy and streamlined as possible. You can accomplish this providing them with everything they need without having to work for it. For our event, we understood that our role was not just to host the media, but to help them with story development and deliver the assets they needed for success, which included applicable imagery.
With editors demanding facts and visuals at lightning speed, a journalist won’t soon forget that you made that process as painless as possible for them. By helping to simplify their job, they will happily return to you as an ongoing trusted source.
By taking a digital-minded approach to our media outreach and building a coherent strategy that maximized contemporary technology, we were able to build many new trusted relationships with the media and local influencers on behalf of Alamo Drafthouse that resulted in placements in 17 local outlets, with a combined potential reach of 35,610,703.
If you want to build solid relationships with the media, you have to bring your A-game. That includes proactively dismantling potential obstacles, delivering outstanding multimedia, and making yourself a trusted, valuable resource. If you keep these key tips in mind, your brand will be well on its way to the coveted status of “media darling” in no time.