The Media are Consumers Too – How to Cut through the Clutter

As a PR professional, the media are often our number-one target and as I’m sure you’re well aware, they can be challenging to reach. With shrinking staffs and more work than ever before, the media are overloaded and don’t have time for fluff stories or pesky PR people.  So, as public relations practitioners we have the responsibility to provide the media something that truly matters—in a format they can use.

For a local agricultural client we recently launched a PR campaign in which we delivered baskets to the media with a beautiful variety of locally grown produce and wine that they could enjoy, share with friends and family etc. The basket was not a bribe for press coverage—it gave the media a chance to experience local produce and agricultural products first-hand, in their environment.  We brought the farm to them.

Of course we were not the first people to do this—brands have been sending their products to the media for decades. The difference was in the way we presented the information and that it was relevant to our audience. The media we targeted work and live close to the farmers and producers in which we’re promoting. They could go out and buy these products for their family.

The result was nothing short of awesome. We secured a live interview and cooking demonstration on KCRA, Sacramento’s number-one TV station. KCRA also conducted several on-air interviews of local producers on their farm and in their local store. Good Day Sacramento and News 10 also covered our client.  From TV coverage alone, we garnered more than 858,000 impressions! If our client were to pay for this amount of promotion on the TV stations, it would cost close to $30,000! In addition to TV, we secured coverage in the Sacramento Bee, on the KFBK talk radio station, in several more local publications, blogs and dozens of community calendars.

Looking back on the success of this local campaign we’ve reminded ourselves that media are consumers too.  If you can give them a unique experience with the brand or products you’re promoting, they’re sure to remember you and just might cover your client.

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