Many businesses looking for media mileage think that securing coverage is simply about writing a damn good media release and shooting it out to the media. Sorry to tell you ladies and gents, it takes a lot more than that.
Know your target media. You need to know the newspaper, magazine, radio or TV program you’re targeting your story at. Nothing gets journalists more incensed than knowing you haven’t done your homework – that you have no idea of the types of stories they run or who their readers and listeners are. Remember, you are judged by that first pitch – you need to get it right first time.
Meet the media. Build a relationship with relevant journalists or editors. This is the best way of getting noticed and of demonstrating your breadth of knowledge on a topic. Journalists appreciate you taking the time out to meet them and potentially furnish them with an exclusive story. Also don’t leave relationship building to that initial meeting. Keep it going by regularly providing your valuable contacts with ideas or stories.
Be helpful to editors and journalists. Being helpful doesn’t always involve providing them with information about your firm. Help them track down industry experts or information they might be looking for. You kind gestures are remembered.
Journalists are busy. I prefer emailing journalists as this isn’t intrusive, enables journalists to think about your pitch or story idea and also ensures they have a record of your story.
Follow up. Because the media gets inundated with stories and ideas, follow up that initial pitch with an email or call (preferably email) to ensure it didn’t miss their attention.
Pitch to freelance writers. Another idea is to pitch to freelance writers who write for a bunch of different magazines or publications. If a freelancer likes your story they will push hard to get it published. Also if they like what you offer they will use your information elsewhere.
Content is important. A great story sells. You might have a wonderful relation with the media but if your story is a dud it won’t get past first base.
Use Google Alerts. If you are an expert at something, get Google Alerts on that topic and when news arises – get in touch with media and let them know you’re an expert in that area. They’re constantly on the scout for talent and if you come to them, you have an excellent opportunity of getting publicity.