Getting press and media attention for you and your business is one of the hardest things to do, and knowing who to contact and what to contact them with can seem daunting. One thing that all journalists say is that you have to cut through the clutter and grab their attention. Simply sending a press release about your products and services isn’t going to get you very far.
So we’ve put together six top tips for getting press and media attention that will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Be different, be creative and be funny! The best way to get press and media attention is to do something original that will make you stand out not only amongst the public, but also to the press. A quick, cheap and easy way to do this is through Agile Marketing. Agile Marketing refers to fast and responsive marketing usually but not exclusively using digital. So if a news story were to break today, you would respond immediately with a funny video or image – something engaging relating to that story, posting it on Facebook or Twitter. It’s the fastest way to go viral.
For example, Bodyform created this amusing “CEO” video response when Richard Neill posted a letter onto Bodyform’s Facebook page, accusing the brand of lying about the true nature of periods through its advertising. His critical post gained 20,000 ‘Likes’ but Bodyform’s response, turned around within a matter of days, became the most viewed video in UK, and the most viewed entertainment content in the world in 2013.
Make a list of all the publications, websites, TV and Radio shows that your audience are tuning into. Then you’ll need to start researching the names and contact details of all their features editors. You may be able to find their names online on Google or LinkedIn, or you may need to call them up directly and ask for their email addresses. If they won’t give you any names or email addresses, you can usually figure out what their email address will be from doing a little digging (firstname.lastname@example.org for example).
It’s important to try and build relationships with these journalists, as it will make it easier for you to get featured. Be friendly, professional and easy going. If they don’t get back to you about a story you sent them, don’t email them every day until they respond. Call them once and then leave it at that. Know the difference between being assertive and being aggressive. At Christmas or on their birthday send them a card and a little gift. Keep notes on your contacts so that you remember their birthdays, childrens names etc. which will make small talk a little easier.
When writing a press release you need to make it engaging like a story, with a beginning, middle and an end. The headline and sub-heading both need to draw you in to want to read more. Create curiosity, although it must convey what your release is about. Keep it short, emotive and punchy. Your release should have a human interest element featuring quotes and images. Keep the text to one side of A4 and remember to add all of your contact details. Write down the main points you want to get across (the main point of the story) and get these across in the first paragraph.
If you are approaching a radio station with your own news story, don’t keep going back if the radio station says no to your story. Be polite and talk through your story idea with the news desk. Find out the name of the person you want to speak to and start to build on that relationship.
If you are asked to contribute to a news feature on radio or TV to give an expert view on a story, be sure to talk about something you know about where you can talk passionately and naturally, Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not, and don’t pretend to know everything. Give firm opinions and pick a side and a view point. Don’t be afraid or scared to say you don’t want to talk about certain things, because you don’t have enough knowledge to speak about it with authority. If you perform well during the segment, they are more likely to call upon you again, so do prepare. Be natural, do your research and be as helpful as you can. It’s also important to remember to record the interview yourself, because they won’t usually provide you with a copy. You can then use this on your website to promote your expertise.
It really isn’t as difficult as it seems to get press and media attention, as news desks are always on the lookout for new stories, you just have to remember to cut through the clutter to stand out.