For a brand spokesperson, embarking on a media tour through the media mecca known as New York City can be a bit like a literary quest, filled with adventures, tests, and hopefully, rewards. Just like in great literature, the hero does not go it alone, typically enlisting the help of a trusted partner to provide counsel and support throughout the expedition - someone who knows the terrain and ensures that the hero remains on course.
As a PR pro, this is your role on a media tour. Armed with the media briefing book (or as we like to call The Book), you’re the guide as you journey through press kingdoms like Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith. The Book contains essential information that a client will need for media interviews – from the schedule and reporter profiles, to suggested talking points. Your presence boosts confidence and productivity, helping clients cleverly match editors’ stories with their interests.
Our tips for a briefing book worthy of legend:
1. Subscribe to each publication you’ll be meeting – And read them! Include details about regular sections and columns, tone and layout of the publication to ensure targeted story recommendations to the editor or reporter.
2. Generate a profile for each reporter/editor – With a short bio, topics they cover, interests and past positions. Bonus tip: review journalists’ Twitter feeds to check which stories they’re retweeting – this can offer a fuller picture of their interests. The goal here is to offer clients a snapshot image of who this editor is and what they’d enjoy speaking or writing about.
3. Include the journalists’ recent articles – To determine preferred story angles and writing style.
4. Include articles similar to your pitch angle – If the client’s goal is inclusion in regular features, themes or annual guides, make sure to incorporate similar stories from past years.
5. Review the editorial calendar – Knowing what features are planned will help you find client opportunities that fit the client’s brand (and it helps journalists with their assignments!)
6. Draft speaking points – Based on your research, recommend talking points and key messages for your client. Suggested talking points for each publication should vary and speak to publications’ regular features and sections.
The Book should enable your client to boldly walk into each meeting and have a smooth, knowledgeable desk-side conversation with each reporter or editor they meet. Just as Samwise supports Frodo; Hermione and Ron help Harry; and Dr. Watson stands by Sherlock Holmes, PR professionals must take on the role of literary sidekick, offering clients the best chance at a successful media tour with a detailed, well-researched Book.
Connie Kwon - Public Relations Coordinator