Part I of this series offered an overview of what to expect of media and analyst relations at events in Eastern Europe. In Part II, we cover practical tips for maximizing your visibility and effectiveness.
One thing to keep in mind about reporters, not only in Bulgaria, but anywhere else in the world, for that matter, is they deal with tight deadlines on a daily basis. What’s more, these reporters will receive about one hundred pitches every day. So, here’s the question: How can we get their attention and ultimately, encourage them to attend the event we are organizing? These useful tips can help when working with Bulgarian reporters:
1. First, think about how you will approach the reporter. Take into consideration whether they would prefer a phone or face-to-face briefing. Of course, this will vary person-to-person and will also depend on the situation, but keep in mind that most Bulgarian reporters spend their days out of office. They will often be found in a meeting or at an event. Our advice here is to make initial contact with a phone call. Keep it short and concise, but with quality content.
2. After initial contact with a reporter, the next step should be a group briefing or press conference. Yes, the reporter will attend a press conference if it is about an important social or political issue. Also, it’s important to take into consideration that when it comes to corporate events, reporters in Bulgaria are tied to budgets that regulate the advertising and sponsorships. Therefore, in the case of a corporate event, the name of your company is very likely to be dismissed if included in an article.
3. We already know that journalists are busy people, but what if you need more time to brief them about your wonderful new campaign and invite them to a lunch meeting? This one is quite simple – if you have personal contact with the journalist, by all means, have lunch with them and guide them through your campaign. If you don’t have personal contact with the reporter, it’s important to think of an angle that relates to topics the reporter is already covering or another topic that might interest that particular journalist. Still, keep in mind that a lunch meeting might not be the best option as they are working on short deadlines.
4. At this point, you have successfully contacted the reporters and they attended your press conference or event. That is all great news, but what happens next? They know you have deadlines as they do and will work to get the coverage out and in the papers as soon as possible. In Bulgaria, when a reporter says it will be out as soon as possible, this normally means it will appear the day after the event. Worst-case scenario, the coverage will be available two or three days after the event.
5. Now that we have gone through how to communicate with reporters, it is time to consider social media. In Bulgaria, Facebook is the most used form of social media. In recent years, online communication might have shifted to Twitter and Instagram, but in Bulgaria, the main source of information surrounding events and other happenings is Facebook. If it is necessary to use LinkedIn, keep the posts to a corporate nature.