By Kris Conesa
Senior Director of Media Strategy
It’s a dirty little secret within the public relations industry that more than a few well known agencies rarely ever have a plan. What they do have is a media list. A list of every reporter they have ever been in contact with and many that they’ve never interacted with but their database tells them that they might be relevant contacts.
What these agencies do to get media attention is to take their client’s latest news release and blast it out to every contact on that list. Then, they sit back and pray they get some interest. In the industry this is known as the spray and pray approach.
Believe it or not, this can be effective, but only deceptively so. See, there’s no doubt that a few reporters are likely to respond to this methodology and reply with some interest to a mass email. The client might even get a few articles to publish with their news. The real question, however, is at what cost? What are these agencies leaving on the table?
The answer, unfortunately, is quite a lot.
Roar Media has long understood that there is a better way to secure media opportunities for its clients. One that not only secures media opportunities, but ensures our clients get the best coverage disseminated across better outlets and a greater, larger audience.
Granted, it’s harder to accomplish. It takes much more effort, a true understanding of the media and patience. But the results speak for themselves.
See, what these other agencies don’t realize is that by failing to be strategic with their media outreach, they sacrifice the great for the merely adequate.
Sure, the spray and pray approach might land an agency an opportunity in their local daily newspaper, but by doing so, in the process they deny the opportunity of a larger national publication like say, a wire service such as the Associated Press to take interest in the story. Why? Because once a story is published and online, it’s no longer an exclusive. It’s already out there in the ether and larger, national publications will just reason, “why should we cover this if it’s already out there?”
That’s an issue because the average daily newspaper has a daily circulation of about 200,000 readers on a good day, whereas the Associated Press’ circulation numbers are in the millions, across hundreds of publications across the globe.
Securing interest from just one AP reporter could potentially see your news circumnavigate the globe. The trick is, or rather the hard part that most agencies think is too tough to accomplish, is to find the right reporter. It takes know-how and patience, and most agencies sadly lack both.
And yet, that’s just the beginning. Once you’ve done the arduous work of finding the right reporter, the work is just starting. This is where the real task of media sequencing begins. A strategic agency will at this point, sequence their client’s news to the next tier of reporters, repeating the process of finding the right journalist at say the regional level, then again at the state level, and then again at the city level and finally at the trade media level.
This takes time. It could be a month’s long process, which is why most agencies would just rather simply employ the spray and pray model. With one mass email, they could secure a couple of hits and be done with the task. But in the process, they fail to disseminate their client’s news to the maximum audience possible. So, it’s good for them, but is it really what the client is paying for?
At Roar Media we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our clients. If that means we need to work harder and smarter than everyone else, so be it. That’s what makes us lions.