This one-day training course covers the key media relations skills and techniques that effective PR professionals use to get stories covered positively and prominently in print, broadcast and online media. You will learn how to engage with journalists, manage news dynamics, pitch stories, build editorial relationships, and navigate the media landscape as you build positive media coverage for your organisation.

This course covers the following modules:

  • Mapping your media landscape
  • Understanding and working with journalists
  • Building news judgement to maximise coverage
  • Pitching stories to engage the media

Who should attend?

This is a universal course designed for learners in a wide range of roles and levels. Learning is pitched at a core level, designed to help you analyse core concepts and execute universal skills. This course is recommended for anyone who wants to generate more media positive and effective coverage for their organisation.

Learning outcomes

After this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand how the media are organised, and how journalists think and work
  • Feel empowered and inspired to represent your organisation’s interests effectively in day to day interactions with the news media.
  • Develop an instinct for the kind of ideas that will generate news effectively
  • Know how and when to approach journalists with news, and feel confident engaging with them
  • Return to work able to generate greater news value for your stories, and secure more positive and prominent coverage for them

Course outline

Mapping your media landscape

This module explores the full range of forms of news media, and how to engage effectively with different media.

  • The power and value of the media: reach, impact and credibility
  • Mapping media by medium (broadcast, print, newswires etc.)
  • Mapping media by scope (horizontal, vertical, geographic etc.)
  • Mapping media by category (consumer, trade, relationship etc.)
  • Practicalities and specific best practice for working with TV, newspapers, magazines, trade press, radio, newswires and Web-based news media

Understanding and working with journalists

This module covers how to understand and work with journalists to influence and shape coverage.

  • What journalists need from us: influencing the story by providing the right ingredients
  • Avoiding common points of tension and conflict
  • Thinking like a journalist – how they work and what they want
  • Five essential rules of engagement
  • Building trust and relationships
  • Managing press contacts and lists

Building news judgement to maximise coverage

This module covers news judgement: understanding how journalists decide what makes news.

  • How to present information so that journalists consider it newsworthy
  • Definitions and universal ingredients of news
  • Different types of news – hard news, soft news, human interest news, feature news etc.
  • Finding and showcasing the news value in your story
  • Front-page focus: optimising news value to get your story covered more prominently

Pitching your stories to engage the media

This module covers how to sell-in stories to journalists by creating and executing effective pitches.

  • Golden rules of story pitching: selling in stories effectively to journalists
  • Creating effective pitches that engage journalists and drive positive coverage
  • Pitch timing: navigating news cycles and deadlines
  • Pitch targeting: pitching the right publication or media outlet for your story
  • Pitching channels: different types of pitch (phone, email, face to face etc.)
  • Practice your pitching skills in role-play exercises with real journalists

Looking for more?

Essential Media Relations is a standalone course — but you can also take it as part of one of the following longer Programmes:

Foundations in PR Programme (5 days)

Intensive Communications and PR Programme (10 days)

Intensive Media Relations Programme (5 days)

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