Mark Macias is the Founder of MACIAS PR, named 2017-2019 Strategic PR Firm of the Year and 2015-2017 Financial PR Firm of the Year.
Every entrepreneur will likely hear this question at some point during their journey. Which is more important, the idea or the execution?
When it comes to public relations (PR), I’ve heard many entrepreneurs confuse the idea for execution. They aren’t the same in PR.
On the surface, strategy revolves around the editorial angle that leads to coverage. It’s essentially the idea that ignites the media’s interest, while execution is a behind-the-scenes approach that leads to the media placement. It might sound nuanced, but strategy and execution are completely different skill sets in the world of PR.
Earlier this week, I spoke with a CEO and potential client who asked me, “What’s your strategy? Bloomberg, CNBC?” I tried to explain how the news outlets aren’t a component of the strategy but the execution. The conversation reminded me of my TV days when we would program stories based on our audience.
Today, it’s no different with online, print or TV. Every news outlet is always programming news to their targeted audience. The more you understand the outlet’s programming habits and vision, the better your execution.
Here’s a general look at the media outlets that might be best for your campaign’s execution based on your desired goals.
If you don’t have a local element from your community, you should probably write off local TV news from your campaign. Local TV is a great approach when you have solid local angles that are driven around the community, but if you have a generic national angle, it’s unlikely the story will get approved.
Local TV typically brings a higher ROI when you are selling to the community. The audience is more targeted, while the visual medium improves your brand exposure. However, it is a longer sales jump from TV to the online world if you are pushing an e-commerce product.
Cable news is nearly the exact opposite of local news. The quickest way to get a story rejected by cable news producers is to frame your idea like a local story. Cable wants to reach the biggest audience. I always tell my team to look for pop culture angles. In the competitive 24-hour news cycle race, it’s easier for a story to stand out when you’re not competing against actual news stories. If your product or service is positioned as a conversation piece, you will have a better chance for coverage.
Cable news can provide a higher ROI for products or services of national interest. It’s important to remember that not all cable news organizations approach news the same. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC all have different programming approaches, so make sure you understand those nuances.
Online News Outlets
When it comes to online news outlets, I generally believe this execution is an editorial split between local and cable TV news. And a lot depends on the actual outlet. However, common sense should guide you in the approach.
If you’re trying to get a story in Entrepreneur magazine, you have to keep that story angle focused around the entrepreneur. It’s a similar approach for Men’s Health or Shape magazine. Your health angle must be pronounced and, in the case of these two publications, target the right gender.
Online news outlets — from my perspective and data reviews — bring the best ROI for digital products. You’re only one click away from a sale with online news sites, assuming you can get the publication to insert a hyperlink. I’ve noticed that most news organizations are getting stingier with their links, but you can improve your chances for an embedded link by packaging the story with additional elements or visuals that the news site can link to. If the content on your website is not a blatant sale, you can make a better sell to the editor for embedding the link into the story.
Now that you have a better idea of execution, don’t assume that will lead to coverage. It won’t. You still need a solid editorial angle to get the interest of any news outlet. Without that, you don’t have a story or media coverage.