At some point, most of our clients have said that there isn’t enough media to do public relations in Riverside, San Diego and Orange County. But as soon as Mixte takes hold, we generate tons of media coverage for our clients and their issues — multiple times in the same publications throughout the year.
A year ago, the executive director of CCAEJ in Riverside County said: “Our area in Riverside is covered by the Los Angeles media market making it difficult to obtain coverage for anything except murders and high speed chases.” In one year, we positioned this Riverside advocacy nonprofit in more than 80 powerful media stories in their community of Inland Valley.
Just recently retired, that same executive director, Penny Newman, now says: “The Mixte team has changed that and drawn the attention of the media to our part of the world and to the organization’s phenomenal work.”
What is the key to strong public relations in Riverside, San Diego and Orange County?
First, getting involved with a public relations agency that specializes in public affairs and advocacy.
Second, prepping your community leaders to be the PR spokesperson that they should be.
Third, remember that your day-to-day advocacy job has lots of steps that media would find interesting. You just have to tell them about it.
Here’s how we did it:
- Make the reporters’ lives easier. The declining media market often means that overworked reporters simply need easier access to stories, data and people. Consider this. Our journalist friends appreciate the heads up on key issues. They love the easy access we give them to the community members and decision makers. By doing this, the issues that we advocate for can get covered more and more.
- Be creative. Reporters have repeatedly told Mixte that our creative pitches or ideas are always appreciated. In doing so, we create a fun way to build relationships with them because they start to recognize and look forward to our out-of-the-box approaches.
- It’s all about relationships. Speaking of building relationships, it’s important to get to know your reporters just like you get to know your neighbors and your local businesses. Once you establish a relationship with local reporters, they will start coming to you. This will make you their go-to resource for stories (even the ones that you don’t pitch them).
- Tell a story. The key to bringing attention to issues that matter is knowing why it matters and projecting it to the media. Give them a story with real people, real-life drama and struggle. Highlight people who showcase authentic emotions and trust us when we say, the media will impress you with a better coverage because it’s about real people.For example, these are the issues that matter in Riverside, San Diego and Orange County: safe water, clean air, secure housing, vibrant culture and a brighter future. Journalists in all three regions have a better understanding of how wonky-policy details affect real people and real businesses than you might give them credit for. All they need is a tool to explain it — so give them a story to tell. Here are some photos from the time when Mixte helped a community in Riverside get their voices heard by organizing a rally:
- Be passionate. Show the media the you care about what you’re pitching. Remember that your community members are newsworthy so pitch your stories in an authentic way. That’s what we do here at Mixte.