As a former journalist, I know the value of a good source. Someone who’s an expert in their field, understands the story angle and can respond quickly is worth their weight in gold to a reporter on deadline.
Now, as a PR professional, I also understand becoming a sought-after source is no easy feat. It takes strategic focus, patience and consistency.
This is the approach Aker Ink took over the past 15-plus years to turn nonprofit financial counseling agency Take Charge America into a top source for personal finance reporters and writers across the country.
Local, National & Trade Media — Oh My!
With consistent, strategic efforts, TCA is regularly featured in national, local and trade media.
Many of these opportunities came about because a reporter proactively sought out TCA for a story. However, it took many years of dedicated and targeted outreach to achieve this status with media outlets. TCA is a respected, repeat source because of the incredible efforts we have put in with positioning, timely and topical story selection, media training, relationship building and more.
The Strategy Behind the Story
Such regular media placements didn’t happen overnight for TCA. Here’s a breakdown of how we’ve helped TCA become a sought-after source for personal finance writers.
- Building Relationships: Landing consistent media coverage is about establishing and solidifying relationships. It’s a steady, slow-drip process that takes time. We’ve built relationships with national and targeted media writers, reporters and freelancers by providing consistent, high-quality story pitches, comments and angles.
- Responsiveness: Arguably the most important piece to the puzzle is responsiveness. You can build relationships and thought leadership, but if you aren’t responsive when a reporter calls, you’ll lose out on those media opportunities. When they reach out to TCA, journalists know they not only will get high-quality insights — they’ll receive them well ahead of their deadline.
- Media Training: Drafting comments for a reporter, participating in an interview or going on TV aren’t natural skills most people possess. That’s why we provide ongoing media training for TCA spokespeople. This includes mock interviews to fine-tune key points and messaging, as well as post-interview debriefs to discuss what went well and areas to improve for future interviews. We also work closely with spokespeople on written comments to go beyond just answering the question and providing additional expert value for the reporter.
- Educational press release strategy: To support the organization’s mission of educating and empowering the general public with financial knowledge, we draft a monthly press release that focuses on timely, newsworthy personal finance topics. It is widely distributed via a national newswire and directly to local, national and trade journalists nationwide. Although many contacts cover the story at hand, the release strategy also reinforces TCA’s expertise and thought leadership, providing a steady drumbeat that ensures the organization remains top of mind when the reporter is next looking for a relevant source.
- Content Marketing: In addition to a regular press release strategy, TCA built up its thought leadership credentials with a content marketing strategy. Over the past decade and a half, we’ve helped the organization develop hundreds of blog posts that offer high-quality advice and tips on a range of financial topics. Coming up during a Google search helps introduce reporters new to the personal finance beat to the organization and its wide range of expertise. Reporters also peruse the blog to inspire their own writing.
Turning Your Business into a Trusted Media Source
Media relations is a vital strategy that can help you grow your business. The experienced team at Aker Ink can elevate your PR and media game and work to make you a trusted, go-to source.