Your tactics are only as good as the data that you start with. That’s true not only for public relations, but also for business in general. Working in PR entails gathering, monitoring, and constantly updating information. No matter the time of year, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your lists are accurate and up-to-date. Dedicating time to going through what you have may seem tedious, but it pays off when you need the data. As we welcome spring, here are some items that might need a little spring cleaning in PR:
Curating and updating media lists is foundational to media relations work. While we all have journalists with whom we have established relationships with, and can usually identify the top outlets we need to pitch most of the time, using a media list keeps you organized.
The media landscape is constantly changing. Creating a targeted media list for a client and then not updating it makes the list about as useful as a pet rock (no offense intended to pet rock parents). Journalists move to different positions, and their beats change. Canada in particular has been especially hurt by layoffs and a shrinking news landscape. However, because of these changes, more outlets in a variety of mediums have come onto the scene.
Making sure that you are contacting the right person in each outlet, as well as identifying new outlets as they open up are key to developing relationships and securing coverage for your client.
While there are many outlets that cover certain topics and areas year-round, many outlets (especially print magazines) still have annual editorial calendars that they make available to the public. Mining target publications for their editorial calendars and identifying opportunities for clients is a great way to plan ahead for your clients’ media campaigns. These editorial calendars are also full of information on what the publications like to cover and what their editorial cycles are like.
Social Media “Holidays”:
#NationalPuppyDay? #PizzaDay? Some of these so-called holidays can be weird, but they can be easy wins for your client. Identifying these opportunities beforehand can help you plan ahead for any campaigns you might want to kick off.
Maybe you are just posting about it on Twitter or Instagram. Or maybe you want to plan a sale and tie it to a product or service that your company offers. It’s probably why your favorite pizza joint had a sale on Pi Day. Of course it’s always best practice to find out what is behind these ‘holidays’ so you can make sure that you are not trying to newsjack a competitor’s hashtag, or worse, trying to make sales off of a somber or meaningful occasion.
Keeping a list of these holidays and knowing about them beforehand can help you and your client to an easy win (BRB finding out if we can plan anything around “What if Cats and Dogs Have Opposable Thumbs Day?”).
Other Lists to Keep Track Of:
There are many other databases that are good to keep track of in PR. For example, researching relevant awards for clients and keeping this information for when they are ready to apply. Or looking for possible speaking opportunities – and keeping a close eye on any recurring ones to see if your clients would be a good fit for them. We also like to make sure that we have a good list of vendors and service providers, and their rates, should we or our clients need them.
PR is a fast-paced industry, and keeping yourself and your team organized is essential for everything to run smoothly.
What are some of your tips for keeping your PR databases up to date? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @PRTheAgency!