1) Get a Writer! Make sure you have a content writer on your team, or you have access to one. Once you start securing opportunities, especially contributed content, you need to be able to turn around awesome content quickly. As the CEO or business owner, you don’t have time (or many time, the writing skills) to do this. HIRE SOMEONE, or outsource to an awesome content writer. There are some great services out there like Scripted and my personal favorite – BACKS\ASH.
2) Don’t Fear the Interview. You want great coverage for your business, so it’s time to start telling your story. If you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera or talking about your business to the media, practice. You have to be the #1 expert about your brand and all things related to your industry in order to be a fantastic interview, which leads to call backs time and time again. Want media training? We can help! We do virtual or in-person media training sessions with clients around their specific key messages. Email me!
3) The Press Release Isn’t Dead, But it’s Not All She Wrote. Don’t rely on press releases, or think you have to write a press release to get media coverage. To be honest, many media have more interest in a quick, personalized pitch to them rather than a full press release that they know a billion other media outlets are getting. Don’t get me wrong, a press release can be great to consolidate a mass amount of information, or to explain a complicated topic. They are even better for SEO – so if you have the time, write them just for that and put them out on a service like PRWeb. You will not get true media coverage from those newswire distribution services, but you will get some good backlinks to your website.
4) Know What’s Up in the World. In today’s world, many of us have completely rid our homes of cable, which means traditional news. Don’t let that kill your thirst for knowledge and desire to know what’s going on in the world around you. In order to be a true expert source, you have to be able to identify trends around the world, around your region, around your local market and tie that back to you in some way. The news will not always be about you directly; many times your best coverage will come from your ability to newsjack a bigger story and tie yourself into it. No matter how you decide to consume your news, make sure you do it daily so you don’t miss an opportunity!
5) Google = Media Contacts. I’m going to say the thing that no other PR agency wants me to tell you. You don’t need a fancy, expensive media database service to find media contacts. Seriously. I mean it makes it way easier of course, and way quicker, but we use Google more often than not to make sure our media contacts are legit. The media changes so fast today, as more jobs get cut and as reporters shift beats or outlets. It will be time consuming, but you can do a Google search for every single media outlet in your market to at least get a starting point for who or where to pitch your story idea. If you want to spend some dough and save some time, check out Cision.
6) PR Takes Time, Patience & Persistence. You will have THE. BEST. STORY. IDEA. EVER. and it won’t go anywhere. Literally no one will respond to your email or your call. You will feel destroyed, especially when you see a very similar story run on that same news outlet (sometimes by that same reporter) featuring a different competitor brand or expert source. PR is a heart-wrenching, stressful process that is not for the weak. But, if you continue to pitch relevant, unique angles that are customized to each individual reporter based on content they regularly write, you will eventually succeed. Keep in mind that if you mass pitch a billion reporters at one time, or send angles that are way off topic for a reporter, you will be blacklisted. Just be smart!