One of the most important tools you need in today’s world of a communications professional is an updated media list (or multiple) that specifically target those key journalists you want to have a direct dialog with. As the communications landscape has changed over the years with a heavier influence of social media, so has the way we contact or reach out to members of the media. Now instead of lists of just key print publications, news outlets, radio and TV that served us dutifully in the past; we have the addition of digital outlets, blogs, and social media platforms that have target individual audiences using voices of those individuals who speak directly through all media channels.
The media outlet and media influencer lists have gotten longer and the editors, journalists, producers, influencers, bloggers, and vloggers there are way more professionals that can spread our messages and many of those professionals change what outlet they write for at the drop of a hat. As communications professionals we can’t just rely on our investigative skills to find out the correct individuals to pitch, but we need an army of people to help in our quest. That select army of researchers has sprung up as different companies that offer media outreach tools as well as media tracking. These companies are Communications/PR Management Platforms. We just can’t do it all ourselves anymore.
Many ‘clipping’ services have added the media outreach features as useful tool to their array of services. Many media service companies make it easy to compile targeted lists from their huge data bases, automate emails, and help to speed up the outreach process. You may craft a press release, pitch, media alert, etc.…within these platforms to distribute to the lists you are able to custom build within their platforms. Some of the companies that provide these services update their databases often and have the latest and greatest info at the tip of their fingers. They also can let you know what articles individuals in the database have written lately and can search for those folks that have specifically written features that you may want to have your client included in for future pieces. Also, many have reporting features that can be customized and help with showing clients or company CEOs or board members the ROI from the garnered media hits.
If you are on the search for a Communications/PR Management Platform, be thorough in your search. Choose wisely, because most of these PR/Communications data base companies that help to automate tracking and reporting, and outreach help and are geared to optimize your team’s time and workflow, come with a hefty price tag. Be specific when you are shopping around about the needs of your company or firm and see if there are add-ons that are not included in some of the standard offered packages.
In any professional, having the proper tools to get the job done is essential. Our team at SahlComm has embraced the idea of Communications/PR Management Platforms as a much-needed tool to help us do the best job we can for our clients.