How to Write a Basic Media Relations Strategy

The ability to work with the media is our “value added” in public relations (and one of the key reasons PR is in the journalism school at the UofO)… So when you want to add a media relations strategy to a client plan or proposal, how do you do it?

“Get [my organization] on morning talk shows” is not a media relations strategy.

First, think about your target audience. You need to have a solid understanding of who your target audience is. Have you painted a picture that makes it clear what media they use and respond to. If not, do more research.

Once you’re comfortable with your understanding on the audience, you’re ready to move forward with recommended strategy. Your strategy needs to include your key messages and the tone of the media materials that you will create.

For example, say you’re working with a local humane society on recruiting more adopters and your target audience is senior citizens. Your objective might be: To raise awareness of [the humane society] among senior citizens so to encourage more adoptions.

You’ve determined through your research that your target audience reads the local newspaper daily. Your strategy might read something like this:

To accomplish this objective, we recommend a media relations strategy that focuses on the health benefits of owning an animal. According to, health benefits include lower blood pressure, longer life and lower stress levels. The Humane Society should identify key spokespeople from this target audience to dispel possible myths about behavior or social problems of shelter animals and discuss the benefits of adopting from the Humane Society.

The specific tactics would follow-on in a priority list and would include the steps to take to execute the strategy and meet the objective.

What else goes into a media relations strategy? Check out these articles:
Ten Steps for Successful Media Relations (on
Website Pressroom – A Key Promotional Tool

Other tips? What key elements must be considered for an effective media relations campaign?

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