Sometimes even more disappointing than getting a "we're passing" email from your top media targets is that moment when you find out they're shutting down for good! POOF goodbye go many of your already created media relationships as well as your dreams, fantasies and PR strategies associated with said outlet. Whether it be a television show, magazine or online outlet, plenty of us have experienced that rough moment.
The good news is that there are tips you can begin actively integrating into your media outreach plan now to make those moments less difficult, as well as strategies you can use after you hear shutdown news, to soften the blow and stay focused on future press placements!
Stay abreast on what media outlets are closing just like the pros do. That will cut down anytime wasted on pitching places that won't be around for much longer, and often the same places that give you that news will tell you where members of those outlets are headed. Our top picks for these places include: for specific information on contacts and outlets moving and closing check out MediaBistro's Revolving Door series as well as The Daily Media. For more in depth media coverage check out Huffington Post's Media section and Media Moves, which offers coverage of Latinos in the media industry. If you want to really dig into the world of media, check out the New York Times media section!
Don't put all your eggs in one (or two) baskets! Sometimes we can get so focused and so sure that our story (or product) belongs in one outlet, that we get tunnel vision and forget about the rest of them. Avoid this by making sure you diversify who and what stories you're pitching. Also be sure you spread your pitches across television, online and print outlets. That way if one of the media outlets on your target list disappeared, you can keep plugging away at all the others. When Daily Candy closed some businesses freaked out, but then those who were prepared realized there were several other places that could tell their story - perhaps in an even better way!
Track the movement of your contacts and foster a relationship that extends beyond pitching them at one specific location. Editors, producers and reporters tend to move from outlet to outlet over the course of their career. Your relationship with them should as well. When you hear they're leaving an outlet or the outlet is totally shutting down, feel free to ask them (once the dust has settled) where they're going next and how you can help them create great stories (that are tailored to the new outlet) for them! Don't be afraid to ask contacts where they are going or what type of stories they're now looking for, this type of relationship (when done the right way) is very open to that.
Remember that your brand story should extend beyond traditional media exposure. Sure, press is a must because it means an outside source is validating you and your business. That said, don't forget that by regularly "feeding" the online marketing component of your brand storytelling (your own blog, your social media feeds, sharing your story places like Tin Shingle's Small Biz Diary section) you can be sure people are constantly finding you, not just when you are featured in the press!
Remember that all is never lost in the world of PR and the media world moves and changes constantly. There is always a new outlet on the verge of becoming huge, an old outlet on it's way out, an editorial assistant who is about to get an amazing promotion, and a contact you've relied on forever who is about to start a family/leave the media world/start their own business, etc. Being open to those moves and always valuing relationships with people (because those email addresses you hit up are attached to actual humans) over everything else will make you a winner in the long run!