Media time and space are not guaranteed in Thailand. To gain news coverage, an organization has to consider the reasons the media chooses one story over another
In the media industry, the press release is the most common tool for gaining the attention of the media. Here are some tricks & tips to improve the chances of getting media coverage.
Tricks & Tips for media coverage:
NEWS = NEW
If it happened today, it is news. Good stories should be current. Out-of-date stories will be end up in the trash. Decide what message you would like to convey to the media and convey it clearly and concisely. For example, if an organization is campaigning for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), point out how Thailand benefits from this campaign. Another point to keep in mind, do not repeatedly resend a story, as that can easily annoy the media.
RIGHT EYEBALLS ON CONTENT
What is most significant to the public appears at the top of the media’s agenda. What happens with key influences, such as China or U.S., is likely to be selected by the gatekeepers of Thai media. Organizations should adjust their stories to reflect the local or regional news, events or concerns. The local media prefers local news and information that affects or is related to local people and the local area. One should create additional opportunities such as local events and interviews and invite the local media to get involved.
TIME OF DAY – DAY OF WEEK
What is the best time to distribute a story for the best chance of getting media coverage? The PR daily website discusses the “times that press releases get the most views”. The study says that a press release should be published and received on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays because that best correlates with the Thai media.
“Monday is the first day of the week, and there are a lot of emails backed up from the previous week. This is the time that media staff use to clean out a mailbox,” Pimpilai Poonsawat, former Bangkok Post staff said.
The report also says that press releases should not be sent on a Friday.
However, a journalist disagrees with by saying, “Friday or the day before a long weekend is a good day as I will keep it for the following days,” says Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Bangkok Post journalist.
Media staff will routinely present the complete list of news stories to a team, who will then decide which stories will be get published. That usually happens between 16.00 – 17.00 p.m., so contacting them around 13.00 – 15.00 p.m. will more likely to influence their decision. Next, media staff will put together the top stories of the day as the news list and the business section will close around 20.00 p.m. This is your last chance to send anything. Sending anything after this time will end up in the trash.
The front page editorial is different. The media staff typically concludes stories around midnight to make sure that the news is fresh. Also, with that in mind, don’t pitch an idea if the news is not that exclusive and the confirmed date of reporter attendance has been recorded a day before the event has occurred.
NOTABILITY – SOURCE CREDIBILITY
Credibility in the media is defined as readers believing what the media reports. The media presents credible information from reliable sources by routinely calling, visiting and e-mailing sources to obtain relevant information for a story. The Thai media gives top priority to authoritative sources such as government leaders and institutions involved. For instance, government authorities may comment and provide perspective, expertise, confidential or official data and statistics and quotes and photos of famous people. The credibility of the source helps to contribute to the validity of news.
HUMAN INTEREST STORIES APPEAL TO EMOTION
Thai news is mostly published on the basis of its importance, proximity, drama and conflict. From the media perspective, they publish to gain attention from readers. As pop star Michael Jackson once said “People write negative things, because they feel that is what sells. Good news, to them, does not sell.” The media as well, publishes a story to get attention from the reader and they cannot survive without advertising revenue. Organizations should be proactive when there is an emergency situation or controversial issue. Organizations need to seize the opportunity to present the latest news, says Saisawan Kayanying, television talk show host and journalist of Thai PBS. Moreover, be different. If an organization is not different from others, there is no reason for the media to cover that particular story.
THE RIGHT ONE
Good news stories should be sent to the media to target opportunities of getting published. Kittiwan Sawaisanyakorn, member of Thai Rath, adds “No need to send education news to the educational page alone. It can be sent to other pages that match the content.” However, the story should be adjusted to suit each type of media, making sure that the content is targeted to the right person with the right content without offending other members of the press.
Being friends with the media is the best type of relationship. Interact with friendship. The media needs help, often in terms of coordinating relations between the media and businesses. In turn, organizations need media support in the form of media reports. It is not just about getting free food, souvenirs or privileges. Rather it is about cultivating a long-term relationship. Be a giver, not just a taker through the eyes of media. Provide assistance to them whenever you can. For example, help them with a particular story and the media will remember.