In today’s ultra-connected world, knowing how to come up with a solid media strategy is a key requirement for any business that wants to succeed. While there are ample resources available to business leaders who want to learn about the world of marketing, public relations and how to interact with media, it’s not always easy to figure out which strategies will make the most sense for their organization or needs.
That is why one of the best options for any entrepreneur is to seek the experience of those who have been in the same position before and learn from their successes and failures alike. Below, eight members of Forbes Agency Council share some of the most important lessons they learned about media strategy and PR from their mentors, as well as explain why those lessons are so essential to their development in the industry.
1. Your Audience Is Your Tribe
There’s a reason the underdog story is such a hit with the masses. People yearn for validation. So give it to them. Reveal your failures. Talk about your struggles before you teach them about success. They’ll follow, because more than experts, people look for leaders—someone they can relate to on a personal level. – Ashar Jamil, Digitally Up
2. Be True To Yourself And Who You Are
Be authentic. You can portray, “what you want to be,” but time will reveal your true self. So be true to yourself and who you are, because if you can’t accept who you are, then how can you expect other people to accept you. – Cristina Cruz, RC Digital Consultancy
3. Transparency Is Crucial
Be as transparent as possible, as quickly as possible. People will forgive mistakes, but they won’t forgive lying. – Christopher Wallace, InnerView Group
Read more in Why Honesty Is The Best Way To Market
4. Build Credibility With Media And Influencers
Focus on building credibility with the media and influencers you work with. Remember, PR isn’t about just one story; it’s about the long-term relationship you want to build. If you don’t have the answer, tell them. Then go get it and report back. – Leeza Hoyt, The Hoyt Organization
5. Be Deliberate And Have A Plan
Be deliberate—have a plan backed by reasoning and follow-through. Getting a lot of press is not a plan, it’s part of a checklist. We apply the same thinking to our work—always pause to think about how these tactics play into the big picture and if they don’t, rethink those tactics. – Sam Michelson, Five Blocks Inc.
Read more in The Importance Of Diversifying Your Marketing Plan
6. The Right Angle Will Always Grab Attention
“What’s the angle?” I always think back to my days as a magazine editor. If you want to grab someone’s attention, you’ve got to think, “Why would anyone care about this?” They’ll care if you give them enough of an interesting angle. It doesn’t matter whether the story is about Elon Musk, Donald Trump, Brad Pitt, or your neighbor. If it’s groundbreaking and interesting, people will pay attention. – Jared Shapiro, The Tag Experience
7. Aim For The Right Audience
I think the most important thing I’ve learned about PR and media strategy, from various mentors over the years, is that getting a media “hit” that doesn’t reach the client’s target audience or reinforce the brand messaging could be worthless. Getting a brief mention in The New York Times in a semi-related story that doesn’t bolster the brand’s value proposition may do very little for a B2B brand based in Cleveland, for example, which needs to get in front of more regional developers to drive deal flow. However, a strategically placed story in a trade publication or regional business magazine may produce multiple new business opportunities. So while it’s exciting to get those sexy national placements, it’s most important to keep your eye on the client’s business and marketing goals, and aim for that bullseye each time. – April White, Trust Relations
8. Be Consistent
You need to be consistent with your message and make it clear what your brand stands for. Delivering the same message every time across different platforms will really start making an impact with your audience. – Scott Keever, Scott Keever SEO