Despite shrinking newsrooms, the pressure and expectation of coverage remains. For the most part, basic product launches and the announcement of a new business imperative just aren’t going to cut it.

But with news media still the top source for credible information, it’s not nearly time for PR pros to take their ball and go home. Instead, it’s time to evolve how we approach media relations and how we define newsworthiness for our internal (and external) stakeholders.

It means looking beyond the four walls of your organization.

What do your subject matter experts (SMEs) think about what’s happening in their industry? What is exciting? What’s not being reported about that is actually an important development?

Starting with an externally oriented pitch immediately separates you from the pack of self-promoting press releases. In fact, it builds credibility and positions your SME (and company) as a thought leader and credible source not only for the topic you are pitching, but for future topics as well.

Where to start?

  • Get an hour with your SME quarterly. This way, your conversations (and pitches) are timely and can hook into current events.
  • Interview them with externally oriented questions:
    1. What are the top challenges facing our industry and how are we managing through it?
    2. What is something that is right around the corner that many companies/organizations are not considering?
    3. What is the most unexpected development in our industry over the last year? What do you think will be the most surprising?
  • Challenge them to get out of their comfort zone of only talking about their company’s products, capabilities or services.
  • In between your meetings, regularly share articles where your company could have a point of view. Likely, your SME won’t be able to take action for every idea, but it will help keep the dialogue current and ongoing.

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