Have we been so distracted by social media that we have forgotten “the media” in our marketing efforts?
Ranking on the web helps grow awareness and attracts eventual sales. Great services and products supply solutions for consumers, but getting free attention in a national newspaper, a magazine and mass media can be a very effective marketing tactic.
Press outreach and mass media attention is often a problem for many businesses.
Below, you’ll find a long list of solutions to help you establish, improve, and solidify your outreach capabilities.
The pursuit of sales will never cease, but ensure media attention is never a problem. Here are some tips for getting attention in mass media.
- Be the purple cow. If you’re not different, there’s no reason for editors and publications to cover you.
- National coverage is great but hard to get. Align a story with local or regional news, events, or concerns.
- Identify quirky components of your company (logo), CEO (hobby), or company culture (You don’t work on Fridays).
- Maintain an excel sheet of sites pitched and reporter contact information. Keep notes and dates (so you don’t re-pitch!)
- Find reporters on Twitter and use AllMyTweets to identify topics they like, dislike, etc.
- Research prior works of individual reporters, not just topics reported.
- Use this tool to find any person’s email.
- Read reporters’ articles, blogs, and tweets. Mention their work and create a greater sense of context and logic regarding the reason for initial contact.
- Do not use reporters’ personal emails unless indicated it is preferred.
- Comment on reporters’ posts and personal blogs.
- Use visual platforms like Pinterest and Google Plus to find information related to hobbies, trips, pets, favorite locations, etc.
- Hire a content writer or PR person to write your outreach emails. Emotional intelligence is a skill set!
- As with writing great post titles, spend time on the subject line of the email. You want them to be excited to open it.
- Don’t include attachments; cut and paste material in the email itself.
- Set Google Alerts for key terms, so you can stay informed about stories the reporters think are important.
- Set Alerts for names of editors and reporters too to see what they’re writing about (Share their work too!)
- Spend time on your email signature; editors and reporters want information coming from authority sources.
- Be ready for phone contact; some rather ask directly than email back and forth. Indicate you are available for phone contact.
- Be humble and genuine; admit what you don’t know rather than fake it. Reporters keep ongoing contact lists, but if you waste their time, you’ll never get a chance with them (or their outlet) again.
- You’re supplying information but editors are well aware of the benefit of news coverage. Thank them for their time and for (even) considering your input.
- Send a follow-up thanks. Use a funny graphic of something they will appreciate (since you used AllMyTweets, Google Plus, Pinterest, etc, to see what they like) to be ‘purple.’
- Don’t play politician and satisfy all sides of a story. Have a strong and passionate opinion – stick to it.
- It’s not a one-night stand. Reporters contact the same people. (How many (New York) times has Danny Sullivan contributed to major stories?)
- DO NOT USE TEMPLATES. Work with your outreach team to create a successful email formula, but ensure the email to each editor/reporter is unique. Reporters sniff-out templates.
- Interested reporters may do homework on you. Update your ‘about’ page and social media profiles to reflect the expertise they’re looking for – But remember to be genuine!
- Provide multiple opportunities for contact – include work email, cell phone, business phone, Skype, Twitter handle, etc.
- To build social authority, take screenshots when people compliment posts, your company, or your personality, and insert on your ‘about’ page, business’ homepage, etc.
- Be active in forums and industry-specific question-and-answer platforms. It adds ‘tangible’ evidence regarding your expertise and helpful nature.
- Create Twitter lists of editors and reporters and stay informed of their interests regarding developing news and stories.
- Subscribe to HARO and Profnet, platforms where reporters actively seek help.
- Don’t get creepy, liking reporters’ family pictures on Facebook or being too friendly on social platforms. Be personable but keep professional.
- Use social media ads to ‘target’ media outlets by genre, key terms, etc. It helps reporters and editors grow aware of your company, contributions, expertise, etc.
- Peruse news sites, looking for broken links, awkward plug-ins, etc. Provide technical help or refer them to someone who can.
- Create an ongoing folder of stats. At times, reporters can’t use quotes or direct information yet need stat graphics to supplement articles. (You’ll still get credit!)
- Conduct industry surveys, becoming a mini reporter. You’ll have more information to offer major publications and reporters.
- Getting one’s first major dose of coverage is like making your first million; it’s the hardest. Create a ‘Media’ section on your website, showing reporters you’ve ‘done this before.’
- Create a separate online page, featuring your resume, mentioning previous speaking engagements, awards, and so on.
- When used for a story or article, become a marketer for them. Help spread the news!
- Later, when writing internal posts or guest posts, link to the reporter’s story, building links to the site and story. The added marketing effort will be appreciated.
- Don’t tell Cutts, but guest blogging is a great way to show reporters you’re a ‘giver,’ offering insight on digital properties of others.
- Be a great assistant; maybe you can’t help with a particular story, but you may know a friend who can. Reporters will remember your help (and it’s likely your friend will think you’re swell too!)
- Regularly link to journalists’ stories in your businesses posts, maintaining indirect relationships and expressing interest in their craft.
- When appropriate, mention previous coverage from news sources in the initial email. As mentioned, reporters want ‘seasoned’ contributors.
- Handwrite a ‘thank you’ card and mail it to the reporter. In the ‘digital’ age, snail mail is ‘purple,’ and usually requires more time and effort.
- Mention the reporter’s ‘audience,’ and how your information will help deliver valuable news.
- Be unique but not off topic. Don’t use obscure or outlandish information to seem interesting. If it’s too far out there, you’ll appear strange rather than intriguing.
- Don’t sound like a press release that sucks. Some are so boring, with a ‘look how great we are’ sentiment. EVERY company wants press but not all know how to intrigue the masses.
- Be a giver and not (just) a taker.
- Have a professional writer edit emails, checking for grammatical errors and awkward phrases. Reporters are not English teachers, but they make a living reporting (often writing) the news. Expect them to notice your errors.
- Be who you say you are and do what you say you’ll do.
Author Bio: Mr. Secore enjoys others calling him “Mr.,” but loves helping other entrepreneurs get started on the right footing even more and you will find him writing tech reviews at AllPowerMoves.com. If you prefer to be on first-name basis with Cam, follow his Twitter handle and engage with him online – he really enjoys that!”
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