Learn to Give Up Control When Working With the Media
Whether you are looking to be included in gift guides or you are looking for media features and a thought leadership strategy, the way you work with your media and influencer contacts won’t change. The reality is that you are going to have to give up a little bit of control if you want your media and influencer relations strategy to be successful.
You can’t control all variables when it comes to marketing your business – will your post go viral? Will anyone see it at all? Will the media say yes? Once you involve a third party such as your customers or the media, they ultimately have control over how they feel about your brand and your products. That being said, there are a few things to consider when it comes to giving up the reins for your media and influencer relations strategy.
You are working on their time, not yours.
The hardest part about media and influencer relations is waiting to see if anyone will even be interested in telling your story. Once you send off your email pitch your contact needs to sift through hundreds of emails to find stories they might be interested in, then they need to do a bit of research, then often they need to run things by their editors. Give them time to do what they do best.
If you haven’t heard back in a couple of days, follow up with a quick and short email. Keep in mind that sometimes your contacts will be too busy to tell you if they decided to scrap your pitch. There comes a point where you should just move on.
They’re thinking about their own brand voice, not yours.
While you are concerned with how your brand will appear, your media and influencer contacts also have their own brands to consider. This is especially true about influencers who most often build their fan base based on a personal brand. Let them talk about your brand in their own way.
The more they can put their stamp on it, the more excited they will be.
Think about how excited you get to talk about your brand. The more leeway you give to tell your story, the better. They will actually enjoy writing about your brand. If someone enjoys talking about you, they will talk about you more. Not only that, if you have ten people cover your story in the exact same way, it could get pretty boring.
Mistakes happen. Don’t freak out.
We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Rather than panic about it, assess whether it is actually detrimental to your brand. If it is, then politely ask that it be fixed. Don’t accuse and demand. Things that are important to change are facts that affect the story. For example, if your spokesperson’s name is misspelled, or the brand or product name has an error. If you don’t feel like your brand was represented the way you wanted it to be, sometimes you have to suck it up and move on.
Working with media and influencers means working with people – building relationships. These relationships can teach you a lot about your own brand and how your customers might perceive you. So, while you might not always have complete control once you ask someone to tell your story for you, you have an incredible learning opportunity as a business owner and a brand.
Candace Huntly is Founder and Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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