Top 5 media relations practices to attract more coverage

By Lisa Goldsberry

18116926_sLet PR show you how to get a reporter’s attention and keep it

Media coverage is an ideal way to educate people about your product, inform them about your events, highlight your company or feature your CEO as a thought leader in your industry. As a result, every business wants to know the secrets for obtaining more media coverage.

While there is no one-size-fits-every-company answer, there are media relations practices and habits you can adopt to increase your chances of coverage success. With help from PR, you can get the media coverage your company needs and deserves.

1. Understand what journalists want to hear and how they want to hear it.

Your press release or pitch must get straight to the point with all the pertinent details by covering the four W’s (who, what, where, when). It must clearly explain what’s newsworthy and why the reporter’s audience will be interested. You should not fill it with a bunch of quotes that don’t really say anything or muddle your message behind self-serving jargon. Also, make sure you know how the reporter prefers to be contacted.

2. Help the journalist do her job.

Reporters typically work under tight deadlines, which means they need to collect, decipher and write about information in a very short amount of time. It is helpful if you include corresponding graphics or photos; contact information for key personnel they may want to speak to; and an easy process to get more information if necessary. Additionally, respond immediately to requests to establish credibility with reporters and avoid being left out because they couldn’t reach you in time.

You can also offer information about your industry that is not directly related to your company. Then, when you do have news of your own to pitch, the reporter will remember you as an asset and be more receptive.

3. Build a relationship with the journalist.

Media coverage is not one-sided. It should be more of a give-and-take kind of connection. Companies and journalists need each other so put yourself ahead of the competition by recognizing and taking advantage of this fact. Learn what types of articles your targeted reporters write about and what they will be most likely to cover. Follow them for a while on social media and comment on articles and posts that you find interesting or helpful. Once you have done this, you will have a better feel for which of your stories to pitch to each reporter.

4. Look at online or other non-traditional media outlets

It is not necessary for every bit of news you want to share to appear in The New York Times or on CNN. Often, a local or regional outlet will give you the best advantage, especially if your target audience is closer to home. You can also look to online sources that may be easier to reach, that are less popular or perhaps more motivated to build new connections with companies. In fact, national media often pick up stories by smaller or web-based news organizations.

5. Hire a PR agency to help you with media coverage

Attracting more media attention should not be an occasional consideration; it should be a part of your overall strategic plan. When media coverage becomes a constant component of your company operations, you will improve your chances for success. However, this can be difficult to fit in with all your other responsibilities.

At Axia Public Relations, we use both traditional and innovative methods to boost your media coverage and enhance your visibility for increased profits. Contact us today or download our free ebook Learn Media Relations from the Media to find out more about how we can grow your company.

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Lisa-G-Color-SMLisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.

Topics: Media Relations, Public Relations, Featured, Press Release

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