The uncertain economic outlook for 2023 is presenting communications pros with "an opportunity to be very bullish with our PR," according to Bospar vp Stacey Grimsrud.
"I think now it's especially important to ensure that you maintain your brand awareness," Grimsrud says. "We don't want to lose valuable ground and all of those investments previously spent in marketing and PR shouldn't be for naught."
Local TV, she says, is a particularly important platform for communicators. "For brands, local broadcast is still an important place to be, especially B-to-C brands. I think for a second choice brand in particular, it's a great place to get your name and coverage."
Grimsrud has several pointers for PR pros who want to capitalize on the opportunities local TV has to offer. "I think going in with a pitch that is timely, that is tied to something that newsrooms are going to be covering anyway, is really important."
In a world where the journalism workforce is stretched increasingly thin, she tells Simon that it's pitoval for PR pros to focus on what they can do for journalists as well as on how journalists can help them achieve their messaging goals. "Remember that it's a relationship and maybe you reach out with a tip that's going to help a reporter at that time, but you're not asking for anything in return. You're not going to get your client's name in the news in that particular moment, but you're helping them out so that then when the time is right and you've built and maintained that relationship, you can go to the reporter and they can be more likely to say, I'm willing to listen to your pitch and see if it's something that works."
She also stresses the importance of getting feedback from journalists about what they need. "We'll work with the reporter to see if we can figure out a narrative that would be beneficial for both the client and the reporter."
Different kinds of companies, Grimsrud says, require different approaches to attracting interest from journalists. She says that with its broader audiences, "B-to-C can sometimes be a heavier lift" with journalists having "so many options to choose that it's difficult to kind of cut through." A "targeted, niche company" with a "very specific media universe" often has a clearer path to getting coverage.
For those just entering the profession, Grimsrud emphaizes paying close attention to building media relations skills. "Media relations is essential at every stage of your career. Now is a good time to be building those relationships."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]