by helen on July 12, 2011

20 Day PR Challenge - improve you reputationHow to pick the right parties to meet the right people

Research your communications channels

If you’re beginning to wonder how much more research and planning you have to do before you can start with the real business of improving your reputation – well, we’re nearly there!

But first – you need to do a little detective work with the help of the internet, friends and family, and your business contacts.

It’s work – honestly!

Today’s task will help you make sure that when you start raising your profile – you’ll be doing it the right way, with the right people.

If your target audience are big consumers of media, research your local channels – listen to and watch the programmes you are thinking of targeting, read the local papers and magazines. Study how other organisations are successfully getting into the media – get to know the journalists’ bylines and faces so you know who has a particular interest in your industry/area.

Some useful ways to research the media include:

www.nsdatabase.co.uk – The Newspaper Society website provides a list of local newspapers, searchable by title, town, county and others. It provides links to websites, phone numbers, whether they’re paid for or free, frequency, circulation, penetration, as well as a demographic of the local area.

Another way to find publications, websites and other media channels in specific industries or areas is to check the reading list of press cuttings agencies. Bit of a cheeky thing to do – but there are plenty on the internet that you can peruse for free!

Durrants has a great media database where you can search forUK national newspapers, regional newspapers, consumer, trade and technical press, broadcast, webs & wires, plus international media, and global sources. Well worth a visit if you’re building a database.

http://www.radio-now.co.uk is a database of BBC and commercial stations with coverage and contact details for national and regional channels.

Once you have identified the channels you think will be right for you, visit their websites, find them on Twitter and Facebook and engage with them.

Create a database – contact name, organisation, email, phone, interests – so that you have all the information you need to hand whenever you need it.

This is also a good time to find all the networking groups, meetings, exhibitions and events coming up in your area.

Heather Townsend of Joined Up Networking has some great tips in this short video that will get you started and enable you to easily build a list of events you’d like to attend in the future.

As Heather suggests – it’s a great idea to ask the type of people you are targeting where they network, and which publications (offline and online) they read regularly. It also gives you a question to ask people you meet at networking events – something which gets them talking, which provides you with useful information, and which doesn’t come across as a hard sell!

So go on, get snooping – ask your friends, family, colleagues, clients, prospects and build those lists!

Photo courtesy Jim Parry, Creative Commons

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