How To Create Your Own Press Strategy (Plus Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Public relations teams often use a variety of techniques and tools, such as press strategies, to promote a positive image of their brand. Making a press strategy can help your company foster positive relationships with media representatives, increase brand awareness, manage unexpected challenges and generate new leads. Learning more about the components of and steps for developing a press strategy can help you determine the best ways to use this set of plans for your company.

In this article, we discuss what a press strategy is, explore the benefits of making one, explain how to write a press strategy in seven steps and provide tips for successfully implementing this strategic plan into your business.

Related: What is Public Relations? What You Need To Know About a Career in PR

What is a press strategy?

A press strategy is a set of plans, goals and metrics related to a company's relationship with the media. Press strategies are a component of public relations, meaning a field concerning how businesses portray themselves or receive representation by the press or community members. A company's press strategy specifically focuses on fostering positive relationships with representatives from the media, such as journalists, news analysts, correspondents and reporters.

Why are the benefits of creating a press strategy?

Making a press strategy can offer your company a range of advantages, including:

  • Develop relationships with media representatives: The primary goal of a press strategy is typically to help your business cultivate positive relationships with journalists, reporters and other professionals who work for news outlets.

  • Strengthen branding: Having a press strategy can provide you and your fellow PR professionals with a shared understanding of how to represent your company to the media. This common vision for your interactions with the press can make your branding more consistent and stronger.

  • Raise brand awareness: Strategic plans for managing relationships with the press may help your company gain more exposure, which can boost public awareness of your business.

  • Generate leads: Increased brand awareness can lead to other benefits too, including lead generation. Leads refer to prospective customers who've expressed some interest in your company, such as by visiting your website or liking a post on your social media channel, but have yet to make a purchase.

  • Handle unexpected issues: If a challenge arises within your company or you suspect one might, press management can help you professionally respond to the situation. Many members of the public appreciate companies who acknowledge their mistakes and make proactive plans to handle future situations better.

  • Gain investment opportunities: Press releases or other mentions of your company through various broadcast channels may help your company receive attention from potential investors.

  • Improve recruitment: Companies that are frequently and positively represented in the media might have an easier time attracting high-quality candidates to their open job positions.

  • Build trust between your company and your customers: Many companies use their relationships with media representatives to help the public understand the unique people who work for their business. This process of humanizing your organization can help foster trust between your business and current or prospective customers.

Related: 10 PR Tactics You Can Use To Boost Sales

How to create your own press strategy

Following are seven steps on how to develop a press strategy for your business:

1. Evaluate your previous press-related initiatives

If your company's previously engaged in activities related to the press, such as through press releases or television interviews, research those past press-related initiatives. Analyzing your previous press efforts can help you determine which strategies or initiatives succeeded and which might benefit from modifications. Statistics and factors that you may find helpful to assess include:

  • Which newspapers, television channels or other news outlets gave your company attention

  • When your company received press attention because of internal efforts, like requests for interviews, and when you received it because of external reporting

  • How the attention from the media affected your business's public perception or operations

  • What major events or trends occurred in your industry

  • Which review sites, social media pages, bloggers or video channels mentioned your company

  • Whether external mentions of your company were positive, negative or neutral

  • How influential the people who mentioned your brand were, such as how many followers they have

  • How your company ranked on various search engines

  • How much traffic your website received and what the bounce rate was

  • What your conversion rates were for blog posts, social media updates and other online content

2. Conduct research

Conduct thorough research about your brand. Having an in-depth understanding of your company can help you devise a realistic and data-driven press strategy. Attributes of your brand that you may want to evaluate and study include:

  • Strengths: Consider what your brand already does well and what characteristics distinguish your company from others. This may include thinking about your top products or services and high-quality personnel or resources.

  • Areas of improvement: Think about what attributes or operations related to the press that your company may be able to optimize further. For example, perhaps you'd like to create a more coherent branding message to communicate to the press.

  • Opportunities: Evaluate available press opportunities that your company has yet to explore or could explore further. This may include connections with different media outlets or holding new types of events for press representatives.

3. Establish specific goals

Develop measurable objectives for your press strategy. After you've analyzed your press results from the previous year, you can determine what types of press goals you want to achieve for the upcoming year. Design goals that are specific and that you can evaluate using statistics or other data. For example, you may decide that you want to improve your conversion rate by 10% compared to the previous year.

Related: Essential Public Relations Skills and How To Improve Them

4. Learn about your target audience

Learn more about a journalist, reporter, news analyst or other media representative before you contact them with a pitch. This may involve learning both about the specific representative's accomplishments along with their publication or broadcast channel's style and history.

Knowing more about both the media professional and the news outlet they represent can help you develop targeted and personalized strategies for corresponding with them. For example, if you discover that a particular publication prefers writing about events compared to other types of press communications, you might make a point of inviting them to your future press conferences.

5. Decide on key themes

Determine key messaging concepts or ideas to incorporate into most of your press communications. Every individual interaction that your company has with the press can vary based on a range of factors, including the news outlet you're interacting with and the type of communication, such as in-person or through a press release.

However, taking the time to develop several key ideas can help ensure that you're consistently representing your brand using clear messaging. When developing these key themes, consider how you can foster positive relationships with both prospective clients and media representatives while communicating your brand's values and distinctive qualities.

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6. Incorporate a range of methods

Figure out how you can use a range of methods for interacting with the press. Incorporating multiple techniques and tools into your overall press strategy can help you increase your media exposure and brand awareness. Methods for interacting with press representatives may include:

  • Writing and distributing press releases

  • Querying journalists or reporters

  • Requesting interview opportunities

  • Hosting press conferences or other events where you can invite media representatives

  • Looking for guest opportunities, such as newspapers that feature articles written by professionals from other businesses or podcasts that feature industry leaders

  • Contacting local newspapers and broadcast channels

  • Developing a PR stunt that gains media attention

7. Track your results

Continually monitor and analyze the results of your ongoing strategic press efforts. Carefully tracking the results of your press strategy and initiatives can help you evaluate their success. If you don't meet or suspect that you won't meet some of your goals, then you can re-evaluate your press strategy, objectives or methods and figure out ways to optimize them. Viewing your press strategy as an evolving part of your business may help you improve your press strategy as your brand develops or expands.

Related: Marketing vs PR: Key Differences and 10 Career Options

Tips on making a press strategy

Here's some advice that can help you create a great press strategy:

Offer value to press representatives

Figure out ways to develop mutually beneficial relationships with journalists, reporters and other media professionals. A successful press strategy includes not only positively representing your brand, but also cultivating relationships with press representatives that can help them professionally too. When you write or pitch to a press representative, explain how your story might benefit their viewers, listeners or readers.

Keep pitches brief

Craft pitches that are short and informative. Although you may want to provide a journalist or reporter with as much information about your company as possible, you can increase your chances of media representatives reading your pitch if you keep it brief. You can always include links in your pitch to resources where a media representative can learn more about your business's history, mission or accomplishments if they wish.

Related: 14 Lead Sources To Generate More Quality Leads

Develop relationships with industry experts

Foster relationships with experts in your industry, such as thought leaders or industry influencers. A thought leader is a professional with expert knowledge and experience in their field, while an industry influencer is someone who can speak to or persuade large numbers of prospective customers or other industry professionals. Both types of industry experts can help you position your company as a distinguished business with uniquely valuable products or services.

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