In the past decade – even in the past couple of years – we’ve seen quite a few changes in the media landscape. Newspaper and magazine staffs are smaller and mightier, influencers are ever on the rise and consumers are absorbing content in a variety of mediums. From print to broadcast, editor-in-chief to Instagrammer, luxury hotel to non-profit – these are a few tips to ensure you connect with the right media, reach your target journalists and deliver impactful messaging for your brand.


  1. Adapt to a changing media landscape

Gone are the days where PR is limited to media relations and crisis communication. With today’s shifting landscape, getting a message across involves leveraging a variety of tools – influencer relations, content development, social media strategy, event planning, marketing partnerships and more. While maybe not as straightforward, this opens the door for more content, delivered on multiple platforms.


  1. Embrace the rise of the freelancer

As the number of on-staff editors decreases, media outlets rely more on freelancers, non-traditional journalists (such as novelists, photographers, designers, and industry insiders), as well as social influencers and bloggers for content. Freelancers come with several benefits: they produce multiple stories for multiple outlets, they welcome new ideas and content and they have the flexibility to travel. Engage in a symbiotic relationship where you’re supplying their need for newsworthy happenings and creative angles to help them land their story (and your message).


  1. Do your homework and respect what the media want

Become an expert in who is writing what, what they’ve already covered and what their top interests are. Read, read, read. Introduce yourself knowing exactly who you’re reaching and stay relevant to their interests with news – updates, trends, partnerships, significant events, data and profiles. New is news.


  1. Build your pitch and know that timing is everything

With the media-to-PR personnel ratio ever widening, journalists are receiving more and more pitches. Make yours stand out and work hard. Start with data and facts, build your case why this is newsworthy, illustrate your case eliciting emotion and don’t forget the power of a great subject line.  In today’s world, being concise yet effective is an art worth mastering.

The delivery of the pitch is just as important as its content – timing is everything. Reach inboxes before 2:00 PM. For long-lead magazines, think “Christmas in July.” Respect schedules and send trip invitations three months in advance. Don’t be afraid to leverage national holidays to entice travel.


  1. Recognize that seeing is believing

Nothing illustrates value like personal experience. Telling a journalist about a hotel only goes so far; hosting them to experience it themselves creates trust and an emotional connection. Align on expectations and deliverables between journalist and brand, clearly outline an itinerary that reflects the desired message yet respects personal time and preferences and host the journalist with sincere hospitality and individualized touches.


  1. Be gracious and maximize coverage

A thank you note and feedback form go a long way. Acknowledge the journalist took his/her time to experience your particular property or product and note that you value their feedback. Once coverage is published, make sure to spread it far and wide – employees, partners, and supporters for social sharing, website and sales presentations, and social channels and newsletters. You’ll spread your message further and recognize the journalist’s work as well.


And viola – you’re a media pro. Now get pitching!