Ever wonder why the media never seems to pick up on all of the great work your organization is doing? It’s probably because no one bothered to tell them. Contrary to popular belief, press outlets do not employ detectives or mind-readers. The people who cover business on television, in print, and on the Web typically rely on tips, press releases, and proposals from the people actually MAKING the news when deciding what to cover. If you aren’t getting the coverage you think your organization deserves, chances are good that you aren’t doing enough outreach.
The good news is that public relations outreach isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to give amazing interviews or write great headlines to get great coverage. You simply have to make it easy for the media to get what they need to do their jobs. The entire process can be boiled down into five relatively simple steps:
5. Do your homework.
Before you pitch a single story, know all that you can about who you’re going to be pitching it to. Make a list of periodicals, bloggers, websites, and other media sources that align with your brand and make sense for your target market. If you’re starting a food truck, there’s no sense pitching to Fortune, and the local TV affiliate probably isn’t going to be interested in talking about your heavy machinery company. Don’t bother them! Reach out to the outlets that make sense for your organization and its audience, and most importantly, come up with a story, angle, or pitch that is going to actually interest them.
4. Create valuable content.
Once you’ve got a topic that’s primed to interest the specific media outlets you’ve targeted, start turning it into content they can use! That doesn’t just mean news stories: you can create a blog entry, infographics, videos, and social media posts that meet their needs, too. These can next be sent to the media using a press release and direct media outreach. Remember that press releases with photos, infographics, videos, graphs, and case studies gather twice as many views as those with text alone.
3. Engage real people in the media.
The media is not a faceless machine. It is composed of real human beings! Get to know them. Connect with media contacts and publications wherever they are onling: email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and even on Instagram. Then, after you connect, be sure to engage frequently with your new media buddies. The goal is to constantly remind them that you are a valuable business within your industry. Be friendly! Engage with their posts through comments, likes, and shares.
2. Position your business as experts.
When industry publications are working on industry stories, articles or coverage of industry news they often seek out industry experts for their insight. Many small businesses already have someone in their business that has a deep level of expertise, because that expertise is how the business got started, survived, and thrived. Pitch your expertise to your targeted media contacts and let them know that you are available for exclusive interviews and contributions to editorial coverage as needed. They might be looking for someone just like you!
1. Get social.
It worked! Your brand has been mentioned by one of your targeted media contacts. Don’t pat yourself on the back—share it! Share that story on all of your social media channels, hype it up in your newsletter, write about it on your blog, and just plain tell as many people as you can about it. The more the story is read and shared, the more likely you’ll be considered for additional coverage in the future!
No matter what your organization is involved in, these five steps can be applied to properly alerting the media of what you’re up to. It doesn’t guarantee coverage, of course—no one can compel coverage unless they own the media outlet. But it will give you the best odds you can hope for when it comes to good P.R. Stick with this plan and good things will happen.
Not quite up for it? That’s why we’re here! Studio Brand Collective employs seasoned public relations professionals, and we’ve helped clients across many different industries get their message out in Houston, Texas, and beyond. Call us today for a free P.R. audit, and we’ll put together a custom P.R. plan to highlight your successes and make your business a media darling in no time! (713) 863-1141.