A top priority for many business owners is to get featured by the media. This PR coverage can help increase leads, draw in new employees, and show expertise in the industry. Unfortunately, journalists and media members receive hundreds of pitches a day and many stories never get picked up. Here are four tips to help increase your chances of achieving that coveted feature story.
One of the biggest PR mistakes business owners make is omitting relationship-building from their strategy. Public relations is all about relationships. A big part of that is understanding what journalists consider news and what is perfect for their audience. Although your goal is to grow attention to your expertise or business, the media is more interested in giving their audience timely information. If you want to get PR coverage, you need to build a relationship with that writer first.
Using channels like LinkedIn and Twitter can help you see what journalists are covering and what’s important to their audiences. Be sure to read their articles and engage genuinely with their posts. Look for those media folks that are most likely to cover your industry or company and start conversations with them. If you have a colleague or other professional who is connected with them digitally, ask for an introduction. No matter which avenue you choose to use, don’t expect instant results. All great partnerships take time to cultivate and nurture and your media relationships are no different.
Think Like a Journalist
Another aspect of achieving PR coverage for your news or press releases is learning to think like a journalist. The first step is doing your research on the topics trending in your industry. Are there changes happening you can expertly comment on? Are there new innovations your business is a part of? The goal of your pitch is to convince your media contact that you are worth covering. It’s important to explain to journalists what makes you different from others in your industry, what problem you are solving, how you are impacting your community, and how you can help the journalist’s audience.
When looking at these topics, it’s also important to confirm that the reporter you are pitching hasn’t already covered the topic you’re interested in. A “duplicate” or outdated article pitch will easily be ignored.
Choose Your Ideal Outlets
Even the best story ideas can fail if they are pitched to the wrong writer or outlet. If you are a lawyer, it wouldn’t make sense to pitch a tech magazine.
The first questions to ask before you start pitching are:
- Where do you want to be featured?
- Who is your audience?
- What do you want to convey?
Identify where your ideal audience is subscribed to and look at the writers involved with those publications. Start with the top five publications. Then, evaluate the stories those publications are covering and start building relationships with the right people. Take a look at where your competitors are also being featured to get a better understanding of which outlets to look into.
After you’ve identified who you want to reach out to and have done your research, it’s time to create your pitch. Remember it’s important to communicate what makes your news and company stand out. In your pitch, focus on the unique angle that will hook the writer, but be careful not to over-promise or over-exaggerate information. If you are making bold statements such as positioning your company at the #1 in your industry, be sure you have the data to back that up. Journalists are looking for timely, authentic stories and want to see a little of your personality.
From the subject line of your email to your pitch paragraph, every word needs to be eye-catching and impactful. Offering exclusive details or even commentary on controversial topics in the industry could spark interest quickly. Don’t forget to also include how the journalist media can benefit from your story.
PR coverage can be a great win for your business. The key to winning these placements is creating a strategy that helps you identify your goals and your audience and give journalists a story they can’t resist.
Journalists respond to roughly 3% of all pitches they receive.
Tired of not getting news features from your press releases and media pitches? We can help.
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