Getting your target media right is crucial for the success of your PR campaign. Pitching a cute parenting story to the Australian Financial Review is unlikely to get picked up, as the AFR is quite obviously not the right target. Sometimes though, it’s not that obvious, and trying to work out the right target media for your PR can be hard.The media is made up of so many thousands of individual journalists, bloggers and organisations, not to mention the many wide range of media types, from newspapers and other forms of print, to TV, online media and radio. How can you know which ones you should go to the effort of contacting and pitching your story?
The place to start when defining your target media is your target market. In general terms, we all know who the target market is for our business. You might answer ‘cyclists’, ‘homeowners’, ‘CEOs’, ‘young men’ – but where it really starts to get interesting is when you start to narrow it down and consider your secondary markets. For instance, at HYOPR we think of small business owners as our target market. But business owners is still a very broad market, and that really limits us to broad appeal messaging in our PR and means we would miss opportunities to communicate more effectively with our secondary markets.
So instead of lumping all business owners together, we segment our primary target market into smaller, niche markets. This includes business mums, entrepreneurs, retailers, franchisees, product wholesalers, inventors and everything in between! We can even get more specific and segment further by location, type of business/entrepreneur/retailer, age of business etc. That way, we can tailor our message to each specific market – after all, you don’t use the same language or examples for florists as you would use for software start-ups, or financial advisors, or musicians, do you?
So who are your secondary target markets? Perhaps you are a women’s fashion retailer, in which case you may think you are just targeting women, but actually, you could break it down into retirees, young singles, mums and businesswomen, as well as by style, interest and personality. If you are an accountant, you may break down your target market into people running family businesses, franchisees, young entrepreneurs and start-ups or retirees. Perhaps you run an online store and you sell hampers – your secondary target markets might be young women, young men, new mums, grandparents…and so on.
So, in terms of a process, try this little exercise:
1. Create a table with three columns
2. Write down your general, primary target market in the first column
3. Write down at least 3 secondary markets for each target market in the second column (see our suggestions above to give you an idea).
Now that you know your secondary target markets, it makes it much easier for you to identify your media targets. You can start to think about the media that each of the niche markets would read, watch and listen to. For instance, to get to mums you might try the parenting media, women’s magazines, weekend newspapers, morning TV and mummy bloggers. To get to franchisees you might try the small business media, franchisee media, talk radio and weekend newspapers.
Then you need to think about how quickly you want coverage. TV and radio don’t need much notice and will get you on the show quickly if they are interested whereas monthly magazines may take 3-6 months to publish the article. Bloggers are also a quick way to get coverage whereas weekend newspapers can take 2-3 weeks and weekly magazines can take 4-6 weeks.
Identifying your target media becomes a lot simpler once you identify your target market. Even if you are very certain of your secondary markets, giving this exercise a go while you are building your media list will help to focus your strategy and get you the best results.
We’d love to hear how targeting your message to your market helped you – let us know in the comments!