get press (worthy)
October 16, 2012
→The power of 3rd party, earned editorial is undeniable. And, because of the dramatic effect it can have on public opinions and decisions, having your product/service visible via print, TV and/or radio has the potential to make a very positive impact on your business (assuming the coverage is complimentary and truly objective).
The question is, how do you GET the coverage…
Pitching a story to the media is not just about picking up the phone and hoping that the person on the other end will pick up what you’re putting down. In fact, the concept of media relations is multi-faceted, and understanding all aspects of the process is of utmost importance—that is if you want to see results.
While all PR pros vary in the ways that we work with the press to get the best possible media coverage for our clients, some tactics are the same across the board.
These Public Relations for Dummies tips are pretty on point (nice work, Eric Yaverbaum, Ilise Benum & Robert W. Bly):
- Build a personal contact file. Keep at it until you have a list of at least 100 media contacts who know you personally and take your call when you have a story you want to publicize.
- Follow up. Call everyone to whom you send your press release—several times each, if necessary. Do this and you will get coverage.
- Become the “go-to guy.” Show the press that you’re the one to call for expert interviews in your particular field. For example, Alan Dershowitz is the go-to guy for law.
- Don’t limit yourself. Broaden your outreach. A CEO reads Forbes, but he also watches the evening TV news.
- Offer an exclusive. If it’s important for you to get into a particular publication, offer the editor an exclusive on the story (meaning you won’t send out a press release to other media until that publication has run it first).
- Go where the cameras already are. Instead of trying to get media to cover your event, make noise at an event they’re already covering. Domino’s Pizza gets national TV coverage by bringing free pizza to the post office on April 15 to feed last-minute taxpayers standing in line.
- Media are not interested in you or your product. They care only whether your story will interest their readers or viewers.
- Remember: Media are your customer. They are buying stories, and you are selling. Meet their needs, and they will run your stories.
If you think that the tips above seems like a full time job—well—you’re right. Media relations is an ongoing process that takes a lot of research, time, patience, persistence, innovative thinking and like anything else, experience. The process, however, is well worth it in the end, however, as a happy client is a client whose press cup runneth over.