The media calls my team because of the relationships we have built, the reputation of my employer, and the sources we can offer. I work for a top-ranked graduate school. Our “clients” are faculty members (around fifty Ph.D.’s), each experts in their field.
Last summer, my team created a media tip sheet for the Olympics. With the help of my director, I took the lead on it, and this tip sheet set off three months during which our team was trying to fulfill multiple inquires per day.
Media tip sheets are under utilized, but really simple to create. If there is a major local, national, or international event occurring and you have multiple experts that can take different angles on the event, why not let the media know that you’re there for them?
Here’s what I recommend if you’d like to create a source-based media tip sheet:
1. Introduction–What news story/event & why is your company qualified to discuss.
2. Multiple Experts-–Be sure to include multiple experts that can comment on different perspectives of the news story/event.
3. Credibility–What makes each expert credible to discuss the topic? No credibility means no media attention.
4. What your expert is prepared to say–-A brief description about what your expert is prepared to say.
5. Contact information–Do you like it when things are made easy for you? Well so does the media. Don’t forget to put direct contact information for your experts.
The tip sheets I prepared featured nine different professors and senior officials who were experts on different business angles of the Olympics. We had representatives who could talk about topics such as China’s government, their environment, the branding of the Olympics, disaster and emergency planning, and more. The tip sheet also featured recent stories in school publications about students who played a role in the Olympics.
As you can guess, the tip sheet paid off. Our expert sources were featured in many local, national, and international print and broadcast outlets. The inquiries came pouring in but didn’t end when the Olympics completed. The media tip sheet created a domino effect. Journalists knew our sources were efficient, reliable, and could be trusted.
All you need to do is create a one-sheet featuring a paragraph about each expert stating why they’re qualified to comment, what they’re prepared to say, and direct contact info. This campaign was so successful because we made it easy for the media.
BRIAN CAMEN is a Public Relations Coordinator at a top-ranked international b-school in Glendale, AZ. Read his blog The PR Practitioner (http://www.theprpractitioner.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @BrianCamen