Most people see it as a tough or impossible tactic and it gets put into the “too hard” basket. They kick back and wait for the media to reach out to them so that they can respond. But if you proactively play in the media – it can be a huge opportunity to increase your profile and strengthen your brand. That’s what we call media advocacy.
Think of it as PR on steroids, not just waiting for the media to throw you a bone but managing your reputation and getting your name out there. It’s an art! If you’ve got the right CEO, being on the media’s front foot does special things to your organisation. You’re not just getting your 15 minutes of fame: You’re scoring front-row seats for ministerial influence, government funding, and maybe even clinching the title of the ultimate employer in your sector.
Media advocacy is as old as it gets. It’s the go-to move for organisations with the right leadership, it’s not just a thing they do – they breathe media advocacy. That’s what we do here at GTM, we do media advocacy.
It feels normal to us at GTM, but if you jump over to other cultures where they only hear from the media if there’s a problem or they only hear from the media if they decide to ring. For them, media advocacy is an opportunity cost, a lost opportunity. They’re only pulling out the media card when the ship’s sinking. That means no front-row meetings with the minister, no access to government funding and definitely no crown as being an industry leader. Their messaging is inconsistent and is actually shaped by others, not themselves.
Media advocacy is a bit of a marathon game which is a game changer for organisations if they’re willing to play in that sphere. For a communications or media lead when the CEO doesn’t see the vision, they see it as a back foot game. But if you turn it into a front foot game, things can really change for your career, and they can really change for your organisation.
This is your chance to put together a PR plan of your great stories! I was recently chatting with a client who wanted an extensive deep dive communications review but this often feels like a deep dive into bureaucracy where nothing will get done. What are your great stories? What are your incredible case studies? What are the urgent problems in your sector, and what are the great opportunities in your sector? If you can map that out over 12 months and pitch these things to the press, you could find that’s the start of your media advocacy journey which can put you on the map and get you known for positive things that you are doing.
Founder and Director of Good Talent Media