Tear down the walls between your company and journalists with help from PR
The New York Times … The Wall Street Journal … CNN … The Associated Press. It would be terrific to have your company featured or even just mentioned in these media powerhouses. You see other companies highlighted all the time, so why isn’t your company?
Perhaps your company is doing well attracting local and regional journalists. Now you want to break into national media. With help from public relations, you can increase your chances.
Why national media coverage is important
Getting national media exposure can change your company forever. It’s like free advertising from an impartial source explaining how wonderful you are. In fact, it’s better than free advertising. A 30-second television ad or a one-page ad in a national magazine can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that may not even include what you would pay to write, design and produce the ad. Also, the advertisement’s effect ends the moment you stop paying for it. By comparison, national media coverage gets you noticed for a fraction of that cost. Additionally, more people read, remember and share an article from a reputable source than they do an advertisement.
How to improve your likelihood for national media attention
- Seize every opportunity.
Don’t discount local or regional media in your quest for the national spotlight. Often, a smaller article will attract the larger media outlets. The local affiliate of a television network or online version of a national magazine could be good places to start.
- Have an excellent story to tell.
To attract national media attention, your story must be nationally relevant. It should also be interesting/entertaining, new and something that can be easily comprehensible by a wide audience.
- Listen to the reporter.
It’s easy to get so caught up in trying to tell your story that you forget to listen. Build a relationship with and get to know the reporter’s likes and dislikes. Find out what the journalist needs and how you might be able to deliver it. Also, if the reporter is not interested, do take no for an answer, but don’t be afraid to ask why. The response can help you in your next pitch.
- Don’t expect miracles.
Unless you’ve just found the definitive cure for cancer or discovered life on Mars, it may take time for you to find the ideal angle or for your news to sink in. It’s fine to follow up, but generally, if you haven’t heard from the reporter after a certain period of time, you should move on.
- Wait by the phone.
Well, not literally. But do be available and prepared when a reporter does call. Of course, this will probably occur at the most inconvenient time for you, but you must remember to be friendly, accommodating and decisive. If you have to check with higher-ups or delay until your attorney can be in the room with you, you will likely miss out on the interview.
- Hire a PR firm to help you.
A PR agency understands that the national media is hungry for news, but it must be the right kind of news. The PR professionals at Axia Public Relations are media experts, and we know how to position clients and tell their stories in ways that are appealing to journalists of all levels. Give us a call or download our e-book Learn Media Relations from the Media to find out how we can help you target the right outlets and journalists for increased visibility and profits.
Lisa Goldsberry is a blogger 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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