I am constantly – and I mean CONSTANTLY surprised everyday – Yes EVERYDAY – at just how many people don’t know how to approach the media when they want to have their story told. The thing is, personally I don’t even consider myself a huge media outlet, our whole purpose for this site is to be as accesible as possible to startups and we do a fairly good job at that – even as we grow month on month.
There are a few things we need to make clear before we get stuck into some of the strategies that will put you on the media’s radar, the first is the difference between PR and Marketing. PR is about brand awareness, it is NOT a sales tool – when companies MAKE lot’s of sales because of a story that was written or a segment they were on it is an EXCEPTION to the rule.
In my personal opinion, if you are trying to get PR to drive sales, then you should rethink what you are doing, the time spent chasing journo’s and editors who are not interested in you would be better spent coming up with a clear marketing strategy or cold calling.
Cold Calling – I am glad I mentioned that. You need to know how to do that if you are going to talk to the media. Why? Because for most people, getting a story up is the same as going through a sales process … In the business of content, dollars are driven by pageviews – and pageviews are driven by sharing and engagement – you need to KNOW why people will be wanting to read about you, because unless YOU are going to make ME money with your story, then sorry, I can’t publish you – and that is because WE [websites, newspapers, tv, radio etc] are all businesses too.
So how do you get on the telly, in the newspaper, on a website and on the radio? Here are my 5 Tips for getting media coverage and building LONG LASTING relationships with outlets.
1. Be in it for THEM
If it is obvious in your pitch to me you are trying to “drive sales” or “push product” it’s not gonna happen. Unless I like the product and have approached you about pushing it [I often do this with books i like, I feel my audience can learn from] – You need to make sure you know the audience of who you are targeting – What do THEY want? Nail that and you are on your way.
2. Digital Stalking is Annoying
Editors are busy, there is always a new release of breaking news, product launches and not to mention overseeing the general operation of the business and staff – Yes we got your email, we just might not have looked at it yet.
3. Know what you are Selling
It is the same as any pitch, know what you are talking about, if it is a product for a review etc, then make sure it works – journo’s have no requirement to write the story YOU WANT they will always write the story that SELLS.
4. Find them Leads
If you know some big information or have content that is not out in the market yet, let them know about it, if you can hook them up with a big name for an interview through your personal connections – make it happen.
5. Keep Press Releases Simple and Catchy
If an editor wants to read an epic novel, they will read Game of Thrones, press releases need to be to the point, and catchy – it is almost a teaser for the whole story – Make them WANT to contact you to find out more. Engagement is key.