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How do we help clients build out a realistic media strategy that actually meets their needs?

Our clients understand the impact of appearing in a respected media publication affords them. It’s therefore no surprise that ‘the media’ sit high on their target audience lists for communications and advocacy campaigns. 

With three former journalists on the Bump team, our experience on the inside and outside of newsrooms helped us land on a process that crystalises your thinking and raises your chances of earning media coverage. 

The Bump Media Strategy Sprint quickly brings together in-house media leads and their in-house experts to fast track an effective and realistic approach to leveraging media. Steps 1-4 ideally take place across a maximum of two weeks and are followed directly by one calendar month of media relations support from Bump Media Lead Habib Msallem (who of course, also leads the entire process!).

1. Defining the problem

Conveniently, this is also the first thing we try to do in our Idea Sprint framework. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many of your internal stakeholders have different takes on the problem you’re trying to solve.

It’s tempting to assume that all good communications and advocacy strategies must engage the media. But establishing a problem thesis and what success looks like will inform whether or not you truly need the media to help solve your problem.


2. Uncovering the stories you need to tell

It’s then necessary to establish what possible stories you have to tell. We’ll keep using the word ‘stories’ because it’s a useful reminder that whatever information you pass on has to say something interesting, it has to be part of a broader narrative that contains some form of tension – not bland corporate messaging.

Plotting all the stories you can think of on a simple axis of relevance (for your target audiences) and differentiation is how we like to do this. These might be angles relating to new research you’re undertaking, project success stories, events you’re hosting with an impressive lineup of speakers, expert comment on pending policy change, dramatic industry or geopolitical happenings.

For this to be done successfully, we’ll shepherd you with a sense of what stories could work for the press and what stories could be made to work with a few extra toppings thrown on.

Once we’ve captured the stories that sit in the sweet spot of high relevance and high differentiation, we can group them under themes and craft the top line messages for each.

3. Defining which media will help you solve that problem

Now that we’ve determined that the media can help and that we have something worth saying, we need to get more specific.

    • Which media outlets are we targeting? 
    • Which specific journalists? 
    • When should they be targeted?
    • Which of our specific stories or angles should they be targeted with?

It may be the case that your target audiences are industry stakeholders who pay close attention to B2B media, or that an EU morning newsletter will hold more clout for us than a national daily newspaper. Or we may well need to target a broad spectrum of outlets.

Determining which outlets we need to target, as well as the specific journalists the subjects they cover, and how they like to cover them, helps to better understand how to package the information we’ll provide. That’s because each target has angles and tactics suited to it.


4. Planning outreach & follow-up/monitoring

Bringing together the above, it’s time to think tactics that can sell your stories. The first, building relationships, is a must for any media relations strategy. You don’t even need a full-blown strategy to start doing this. In fact, when you’re finished reading this post, send a coffee invite to a journalist just for the hell of it. Get to know the people who cover your beat.

Here are some common tactics:

  • Build relationships – coffee dates
  • Send out reactive statements
  • Send out full press releases
  • Hold a press conference or briefing
  • Pitch something more substantial – a feature piece, an interview, event coverage, an op-ed


Who’s involved?

  • Bump Media Lead Habib Msallem leads the sprint from start to finish and provides one calendar month of media relations support for the specific issue at hand.
  • The In-house Media Lead is typically the team member most directly responsible for leveraging media on a particular issue or subject.
  • In-house Issue Owners are those with specific expertise on that issue, but not necessarily media relations expertise.

How long does this take?

We recommend completing steps 1-4 of the Media Strategy Sprint within two weeks. Included in the sprint is a calendar month of media relations support from Bump Media Lead Habib Msallem.

Which type of organisation is this right for?

Our media relations clients include companies, trade associations, NGOs and think tanks. You can also read more here about the clients who seem to get the most of our working with Bump.

How much does it cost?

You’ll find that info and everything else about money at Bump in this post.

Looking to co-create something awesome?

Good news. So are we.