Get more positive news coverage with help from PR
When it comes to gaining a foothold with journalists, you may feel like everyone else has the key to unlock the door but you. The truth is there are tips and techniques to make it easier. With these 10 rules – and help from public relations – you can increase your chances for attaining news coverage and increasing your visibility.
- Get to the point. Friendliness is fine, but don’t get so caught up in platitudes that there’s no room for your actual pitch.
- Address the reporter by name (and spell it correctly). Nothing says, “I haven’t done my homework” more than not getting the reporter’s name right. It seems so simple, but so many get this wrong.
- Don’t “robo”pitch. This is when you send the same pitch to dozens of reporters, hoping at least one will swing. For better results, be strategic.
- Find out as much as possible about the journalist you are pitching. You should know important details such as what’s on her editorial calendar, her background and how your story can benefit her publication and its readership.
- Don’t pitch without a plan. First, you must figure out what you hope to achieve, which media outlet will help you accomplish your goal and which reporter will be most likely to show interest.
- Put yourself in the reporter’s shoes. What does she need? What kind of stories will help her increase readership? When you have a story that matches the reporter’s beat and areas of interest, then you are ready to pitch.
- Realize that a story is useless without an angle. Every company has a unique history, wonderful people and a great product. You have to find the nugget that turns a basic piece of information into an exciting informative read that will make people sit up and take notice. For example, the fact that you are celebrating your company’s 25th anniversary is not really big news. But, the fact that you have lasted 25 years without a single personnel change would be. It could also be part of a larger study about the impermanent nature of today’s workforce.
- Use an effective call to action. Let the reporter know what you want her to do. For instance, you can say, “This story would be great for your travel section’s frugal traveler feature.” Additionally, if interviews are part of your pitch, you can present dates and times when the subject will be available.
- Think beyond the pitch. You should not only be thinking about what the reporter can do for you and how many times you can pitch this same individual without turning her off. Instead, think about what you can do for the reporter.
You can often find out by reading her stories for a while and following her on social media. Offer help with background information or resources even if they don’t involve your company directly. Then, when you do have something to pitch, the reporter will remember your past helpfulness and be more willing to listen.
- Hire a PR agency to help you. Some companies mistakenly believe that anyone who can string two sentences together is qualified to pitch the media. Unfortunately, when they get it wrong, it annoys the reporter and casts a negative opinion on your entire organization.
Let the professionals at Axia Public Relations help you get it right the first time. We specialize in media relations, so we have already developed relationships with the reporters you need. Therefore, when you are ready with that great story, we will already be holding the door open for you. For more information, contact us today or download our free e-book, Learn Media Relations from the Media.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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