Use these insider tips to improve visibility for your company
In public relations, perhaps the most common concern we hear from companies is their inability to attract positive media coverage. Now that news is a 24-hour operation and new online publications are popping up all the time, it seems like getting media coverage should be easier; but for many, it remains elusive.
The truth is that it’s not easy, but it is possible to increase your visibility through media exposure. To help, Axia Public Relations is providing insider, step-by-step tips so you can learn what journalists want and how you can position your company to provide it.
- Be a problem-solver.
Journalists seek to interest and inform their audience. They are even more successful if they can help their readers/viewers solve problems. Your company may have just the solution. With a bit of research, you should be able to determine the news outlets’ target audiences and what could make their lives easier. Are they looking for ways to improve their health, keep more money in their pockets, navigate fundamental business challenges or try the latest gadget? Whatever it is, figure out how your company and product can help. Use this specific information to pitch the reporter.
- Be timely.
Reporters hate it when you pitch them a story they just wrote about or something that occurred weeks ago. They are looking for breaking news, upcoming trends and new research and ideas.
Try to imagine strangers reading your news. If you can’t picture them exclaiming, “Wow!” or “This is great information that I really needed!” then don’t pitch the story.
- Be straightforward.
Don’t make journalists sift through mountains of information or layers of jargon. For example, if your company sells antiques, don’t say you are nostalgia engineers.
When you pitch, get to the point quickly and clearly. If you can’t explain your story and why the reporter should be interested in a few sentences, that’s a problem. You may be able to get around this using an infographic or chart, but you will probably have better luck scaling down your descriptions and information.
- Be complimentary.
Reporters, like anyone else, like to feel valued and appreciated. Reading, sharing and complimenting their articles is a good start. Before pitching any reporter, read her work first. Get to know her beat, style and concerns. Follow her on social media. Only after you have learned these facts should you try to connect. And when you do, you should have something nice to say. Be specific about the stories and points that you enjoyed. This demonstrates that you’ve read her work thoughtfully, that the articles had an effect on you, and that you understand her points.
Special tip: Don’t insult journalists. Ever. Even when their behavior is less than favorable, you should still keep things positive and friendly on your end. You don’t want to get into a war of words with someone who makes a living from them.
- Be smart.
Pitching reporters is not for the faint of heart. You must have the virtue of patience, nerves of steel and great stories to tell. It’s best to hire a PR firm to handle this for you.
At Axia, we understand that journalists are always looking for content, but it must be the right content. We have already built relationships with reporters, so when you are ready with news to pitch, we’ll work to get you covered. To learn more, contact us or download our free e-book Learn Media Relations from the Media today.
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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