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Dmitri Vietze
Aug 18, 2021
5 min read

The RPS PR Model: Amplify

The RPS PR Contraption: the Third phase is Amplify, when we get your story out to journalists and secure press coverage.

Amplification is the third phase of the iterative rps PR model. This is getting other people to tell your story, with an emphasis on media outlets. The model also works with formats other than media relations, but for now we will stick with the media.

The rock paper scissors PR contraption: Crystallize. Articulate. Amplify.

Once again I go back to the common misperception that a press release is the main driver of securing press. If you thought that getting press is all about nailing the press release, you might also have thought that hitting the send button is the primary action that leads to securing press coverage. That’s not always true. More important than sending a press release are four factors: 

1. Defining relevant media targets.
2. Framing the story for each category of media, or better yet, for each journalist.
3. Reaching the journalist on their terms (format, timing, level of detail, etiquette, appropriate familiarity, etc.).
4. Cutting through the noise. 

Amplify: Tactical Outreach to Journalists

The main point here is that there is not a single one-size-fits-all method for reaching out to and capturing the buy-in of journalists to amplify your story. As a publicist masters their outreach agility, they will likely lean on certain practices that get the best results with the least effort, but that is not always what is needed. Each story pitch merits a conscious choice of outreach tactics. 

When you boil this down, hitting send on the press release (or even having a press release) is less important than:

  • Email subject lines.
  • Media target research and understanding an outlet’s and specific journalist’s audience and mission.
  • Knowing how to get a story to the top of the journalist inbox (usually several times without angering them). 
  • Writing short pitches that encourage engagement. 
  • Developing a cadence of messaging to warm a journalist up to feature coverage. 
  • Pivoting the pitch as you get feedback from a journalist. 
  • Building relationships with journalists (sometimes in short periods of time as a pitch requires cutting through to a new vertical). 
  • Tying pitches to current events and trends. 
  • Looking for unplanned opportunities to secure coverage.

You get extra credit for knowing if, when, and how to DM a journalist on a social network or getting and using a mobile number for texting.

The Art of the Follow-up

"Each story pitch merits a conscious choice of outreach tactics" overlaid on a vintage black and white photo of a woman talking on a telephone.

The truth is that the bulk of the work in getting media coverage is in the follow-up. This takes the most time, a good amount of planning, and lots and lots of patient, diligent, consistent outreach, and fast response times from the publicist. It can be maddening to balance pressure to get a story out while relying on overwhelmed journalists who are faced with a deluge of pitches. Keeping a clear head under pressure, maintaining extreme professionalism and staying on message, are key to success in securing press coverage.

Then again, if the story is not interesting, none of this matters.

That’s why each stage of the RPS PR model is essential. A great story is easier to amplify, and articulating a great story depends on crystallizing the essence of your business.

What’s next? Start with crystallization and articulation. The RPS model is iterative: every cycle builds strategically on the previous one to build momentum in the press. Once we crystallize, articulate, and amplify the origin story of your company, we can dig into the details of your next launch, the expertise of your leadership team, and how you’re poised to revolutionize the music industry. And then we do it again.

Get our follow-up experts telling your story:

About Dmitri Vietze:

Dmitri Vietze

Born in Nashville, Dmitri moved to NYC as a teen where he busked in the subways while studying music at “the Fame High School” for Music and the Arts. After earning his business degree, he leaned into his entrepreneurial bent and launched rock paper scissors in 1999. His vision was to combine cutting edge technology and deep organic storytelling to help clients crystallize their missions in compelling ways and amplify them in innovative ways.

He continues to lead the company from music to tech and into other fields that are changing the world every day. When others told him that the company he envisioned would not succeed in college town Bloomington, Indiana, he took that as a challenge and has built a collaborative team that leans into the Midwestern ethic of hard work, warmth, and caring. Dmitri stays at the cutting edge of music tech innovation by hosting the weekly Music Tectonics podcast and the annual Music Tectonics conference. He can also be found speaking on stage at conferences ranging from SXSW to Music Biz on new approaches to publicity, innovation, and resourcefulness.

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