5 best practices for getting media attention

Journalists who write about credit unions live and breathe newsworthy material, but with a 24/7 news cycle and smaller newsroom staffs, great content can be hard to come by. That’s why they rely on the help of a few credit union PR experts who can be trusted to provide solid information about credit union news, trends, and referrals to industry influencers.

Your public relations person can make that coveted “inner circle” if they adhere to the following list of professional behaviors.

Returning calls or emails from journalists Journalists work on tight deadlines, so when they call to interview a member of your top management, it could be for a story that’s due by 5:00 p.m. A good PR professional prepares top management for media exposure on a regular basis and helps frame answers to the questions the journalist is likely to ask. They are successful in getting the CEO to buy in to the concept that they (or a well trained spokesperson) must be accessible and responsive to journalists quickly.

Having a media friendly website. Sometimes journalists just need a quick fact or two about your credit union for a story they’re writing. Good PR professionals create a newsroom on the website where reporters can find a corporate backgrounder, biographies of key personnel and the contact information of the CU’s media liaison.

Doing research before pitching a journalist.  Journalists love PR people who do their research before contacting them. It shows respect, and saves everyone time and inconvenience. The financial services writer at one media outlet says he often gets press releases or email pitches about sporting events and fashion. PR people who regularly send information to the wrong media contacts lose friends fast.

Building good relationships with media contacts. The consummate credit union PR pro knows the names and faces of key media contacts. They go for coffee and frequent the same events. The PR person follows their work. Sometimes, the PR person calls and shares information “just because,” not because of ulterior motives, but because it’s the right thing to do. That’s just good business, right?

Press releases are well written and formattedThe ideal credit union PR professional is also a trained journalist who writes well and knows how the newsroom works. Many journalists receive 300 emails or more every day. It’s very tempting for journalists and editors to hit the “delete” button because of the sheer volume of unprofessional submissions they get.  If your press releases are consistently good, they’re more likely to be read, which means you’ll receive more press coverage than others in your market who don’t know the ropes.

Dana Dobson

Dana Dobson

Dana Dobson is an award-winning public relations expert, keynote speaker and author of, “How to Reach Millions with Artful PR.” Over her 30-year career, she has developed winning PR and ... Web: dana-dobson.com Details