Media relations: communicating to diverse audiences
By Liselle DeGrave, APR, President, DeGrave Communications, Inc.
When communicating to a diverse audience, media outreach can be a critical component to effectively reaching your targeted public. Having a strong media relations strategy can help you build credibility with your audience, however, how to execute your plan must be evaluated from beginning to end. Use the RPIE (research, planning, implementation, evaluation) process to help guide your strategy.
Understand your audience. Starting with
research, take the time to understand who your target audience
is. What do they read? What do they listen to? What do they
watch? Take the time to get to know the reporters who cover
stories that can answer these questions. What can you learn
from research and experiences about your audience? Make sure to
include what you know and demonstrate that in your messaging.
Make sure that both verbal and visual messaging, are culturally
sensitive. If you are providing a reporter with visuals, do the
broll and photos accurately resemble our audience?
Your goal is for the receiver of your materials to identify
with what they see, read and hear. Understanding diverse
audiences is essential; remember this when communicating with
reporters too. Genuinely connecting with reporters from other
cultures or diverse backgrounds can have a lasting impact on
your relationship with him/her.
Be mindful of translations. If your audience
speaks another language and you need to translate a news
release, do not rely on Google Translate. Always work with a
trusted translator and never rely solely on online translator
applications. When you are sending a news release to the
media you want to make sure that it demonstrates you care
enough about their audience/ reader/ listener to have a proper
Make your pitch relevant. Your pitch needs to
tie back to your preliminary research to utilize what you
already know about your audience. Just as in pitching general
market media, prove that your story is important to the
receivers of the story. Try to tie your pitch into something
timely or to something that is relevant to your target
audience. You want your pitch to resonate with the reporter and
Select a relevant spokesperson. Providing a
relevant or in-language spokesperson is valuable for TV, radio
and podcasts. If you are reaching an audience that speaks a
language other than Spanish, think about your team. Is there
someone internally that could serve as a potential
spokesperson? Having a trained spokesperson who speaks the
language of your audience can help your chances of securing
media coverage. Is there a team member that can identify with
your audience based on their experiences within a diverse
audience? Could they serve as a strong spokesperson due to
Also, if you have a Spanish speaking spokesperson, you can sometimes leverage a general market/English interview with NBC if you are pitching Telemundo. Because Telemundo is owned by NBC you may be able to leverage this relationship.
As you think about your media relations strategy for reaching a diverse audience keep these simple steps in mind. Even if you don’t share the same diverse backgrounds as your audience, a basic understanding of who they are can go a long way when dealing with the media. Deploying your tactics with a thoughtful direction will demonstrate a level of understanding and concern for your audience, which will in turn create a lasting connection.
Return to the October Newsletter (Log In to View)