If your business is new to PR and media relations, then it's understandable that you will feel overwhelmed about where to start your PR journey.

Understanding the media hierarchy will help you navigate the world of news and media relations.

First, you need to get to grips with your news and publications. Then ask yourself these three vital questions:

✔ Is the story newsworthy?
✔ Where will this story sit? Is it national, regional, or trade?
✔ Where and how can I place this to achieve maximum impact for my client?

A top tip to hold on to is to create a comprehensive media list. Break your list into key segments: Broadcast, national, regional, and trade press. Ensure you know your industry, your sector, and your journalists. Researching subjects related to your business and identifying writers is vital to understanding your business's place in the media hierarchy.

In the world of media and PR, there are also some big no-nos. So, let us chat through those.

1. Never dilute your messaging

Your news story should be clear, concise, and straight to the point. Think about your primary objective. Drill down further by answering these questions:

  • What is my message?
  • What am I trying to convey?
  • How do I want to be seen?
  • Who is the target audience?

Identifying and pinpointing your message should allow you to understand where your story needs to be published. Therefore, allowing you to see where you fit in the media hierarchy. Diluting your messaging will ultimately lead to a press release failure or poor results.

2. Never publish the story on social channels or newsletters before you send it off to the journalist.

This one isn't as obvious to everyone as you may think. It's exciting to share news on your social channels with your followers. You want your audience to know about the incredible things you and your business are doing. But publishing news to social media before sending it off in a press release means your announcement is no longer newsworthy.

Once you have achieved earned media, you can spread the message across your social channels. Going directly to LinkedIn with big news and strong stories will only hamper your reach and your chance to amplify your business as an industry leader and educator.

3. Never send your story to national titles if it's only going to succeed in regional publications.

Understandably, you're excited about the achievements you want the world to know. However, realistically your story won't appeal to every audience every time. Being aware of the difference between what works for a national publication and what is relevant for a regional publication is paramount. Additionally, sending irrelevant press releases to journalists will ultimately affect your relationship with them in the future. If your message is strong, aim for broadcast or national press.

Understanding the hierarchy will strengthen your overall approach to your PR strategy and the success of your campaigns. Formulating a public relations strategy enables you to best place your news story and opens future opportunities for your client whilst strengthening your media relationships.

At Rumpus, we deep-dive into every aspect of your business to understand your goals and objectives and provide you with a voice. We identify the great things you're already doing in your business and amplify that across media channels to give your brand authority.