Do you need media?
In this part of the Media Pitching course with the communication expert Anastasiia Nurzhynska we will try to figure out if this is really necessary?

One of the most frequently asked question about promoting organisations is “How to get into media’s spot light?” Let’s try and see it through the eyes of a PR specialist as well as a journalist. My name is Anastasiya Nurzhynska and I'm an expert in communications for social change.

How to make your first contact? How to prepare a Press kit? And how to work with different types of media?

But there is one more question you should ask yourself at the very beginning:

Do you really need media? In most cases, the answer is “No”.

Despite the most common dream of managers to gather press conferences and an absolute must requirement for a PR specialist to have his/her own journalist contact pool, dozens of reposts of the same info on news aggregating platforms will help with reporting, well, if only for the PR agency. However, in most cases it will not deliver real results for your organisation.

That’s why first we have to ask ourselves: For what purpose exactly do you need media in this very case?

Let’s start with a task.

Communications in fact can achieve so much: to change the attitude and behavior; to inform and brake stereotypes. Media entertain and provide practical and useful content.

And what is the task of your organisation in this case of communication? What do you want to achieve through the media? For example: to attract investors for your project?

– Then, the best way would be to list the top companies in your region and perhaps to approach them directly.

If you want to lobby better working conditions for your sector, in state authorities – then, perhaps, it’s not the best idea to talk about it within the same block with criminal or political news on a national channel. But rather, you need a substantial piece in a serious analytical media.

The next question: Who is your audience? Does it use media and for what purpose? For example: it is statistically proven that over 70% population watches TV, but only 40% of those trust the news they see over there. Who exactly watches TV? Will the audience you really need to reach watch that very news broadcast you want to get in? Because the average age group of the TV audience is 45+.

The same goes for online media. Niche platforms are the most popular ones. Do they really work with your audience? Niche sites can focus on the local city news for creative class or for business class for entrepreneurs and managers. They can concentrate on different hobbies and interests. Mass media websites in most cases have a portrait of their audience for advertisers. Do check it, if this audience matches the audience you want to attract to your project.

One of the most common mistakes is to address everybody. Many organisations believe that their issue is similarly important for most people. Perhaps, it is really so, but the means of communication and persuasion should be different for separate target audiences. For example, the format to incite more interest on the subject among older population will be different from the ones to engage the youth. And there are also very few programmes that are universally palatable for both women and men.

It is just as important to consider, if you can provide the format of your content that the media needs.

For example, press conference in confined spaces will not go for TV channels, Because good news reporters need exciting pretty picture. Will your project be able to provide a story with rich visual content? Do you have analytics or experts for sector-specific or business periodicals? If you have analysed and understood (evidence-based) that it is the media, that will help you communicating with your target audience, then we can move forward.

Here is an assignment:

Compile a scheme of the communication strategy for your organisation. What issue are you to solve? Who is your target audience? What information channels does it use? What 3-5 key messages would you like to get over to every single of them?

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