Beyond PR

Feb 05, 2015

The Key to Effective Media Relations? Target Your External Subject Matter Experts

you had me at hello webinar

New communication tools have, in some ways, updated the tactics publicists use to target and cultivate relationships with journalists. Social media has become a new avenue for PR pros to directly reach influencers and online communities such as ProfNet amplify publicity by connecting experts and spokespeople with journalists actively looking for quotes and commentary.

It does take more than both parties simply sharing a common interest to earn great media coverage; there must be a value exchange on both sides. If you want your brand story to be told accurately, don’t think of your media relations as pitching a subject matter expert to a reporter. Instead, think of your pitch as one subject matter expert conversing with another. This has been a strongly held principle for Grooveshark’s EVP of Corporate Communications, James Pearson, who has spearheaded the company’s media relations efforts to change the way the music industry and consumers think about online music streaming.

Pearson will discuss this topic in-detail during the upcoming webinar, “You Had Me at Hello: Tips for Building Relationships with media and Influencers to Reach Desired Audiences.” Register now:

“Ten years ago when I was at Razorfish and we were explaining to companies what a ‘web presence’ would be – it was all about finding and cultivating relationships with the reporters who did not require that explanation,” says Pearson. “We developed relationships around the fact that they simply got it.”

Now that Grooveshark is one of a handful of competing power players in web-based music streaming services, Pearson depends on the independent coverage of reporters to tell the brand’s story with integrity. He makes a point to reach out to those who not only understand the technology behind Grooveshark, but who are also an experts on the evolution of the music industry.

“For example, The Wall Street Journal’s music team has been ahead of the curve in terms of telling the real story about Grooveshark’s next ten years in business,” Pearson explains, “Find the reporters who want what you have. Press is man-made weather, so the best corporate communications teams are simply finding the rainmakers to tell your brand’s organic story.”

For the PR goals at Grooveshark, media relations is still about finding the right reporters, telling them the truth in simplest terms about the company’s core values, and clearly illustrating why it is news, but modern pitching tools help to augment that conversation by fostering engaged communication with an immediate connection to media.

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