September 28, 2022
When seeking earned media coverage, show PR agencies why journalists will take interest in your story.
Your company might rely on hiring a PR agency to be your fast-track ticket to a spot in a top news story. However, it’s not always as simple as buying guaranteed news media coverage. While a PR agency can certainly connect your brand with newsrooms, your company must be newsworthy if you want to earn a spot in the news. We have established relationships with many different newsrooms and can pitch to relevant ones, but we cannot guarantee you media coverage in a specific publication.
When you reach out to a PR agency for earned media coverage, come prepared with the reason why your company deserves it. Being a successful company isn’t reason enough for newsrooms to run a story about you. Think of how many other successful companies exist — they likely all desire earned media coverage too.
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If your goal is to have a PR agency take interest in your company, you must demonstrate newsworthy elements in your outreach to prove why newsrooms should take interest.
How PR agencies generate earned media coverage
Before approaching a PR agency with the goal of buying earned media coverage, you need to understand the agency’s process of landing you in the news.
We don’t just go straight to newsrooms after taking you on as a new client. First, we get to know your company to help us identify differentiators and newsworthiness beyond the initial news value you introduced to us in your outreach. We build on the interesting elements you first told us to help us gain a solid understanding of your company’s brand.
Then, we develop pitches for newsrooms with audiences relevant to your brand, which the newsrooms will hopefully pick up and write stories about, earning you media coverage. Our pitches respond to trending topics and incorporate your brand in various ways, positioning you as an expert.
Must Read: What are examples of earned media?
How newsrooms decide which stories to pick up
While our trained writers can expertly craft a pitch or news release for your brand, it is never guaranteed that a newsroom will use the content from the pitch or news release in a story. It’s important to realize that your PR agency is not a newsroom, and you can’t simply buy a spot in the news from your PR agency. The average journalist sorts between one and five pitches a day, with 19% of journalists receiving 6 to 10 pitches per day, according to Muck Rack. And with the majority of journalists publishing between one and seven stories per week on average, that’s a lot of pitches left behind.
To increase the chances of journalists accepting pitches about your company, it all comes back to news values and newsworthiness. The most newsworthy story is the one the most news consumers will care about. Successful pitches must include relevant, consequential news values, such as timeliness and impact, to capture journalists’ attention and generate earned media coverage for your brand. No matter how good the relationship is between newsrooms and a PR agency, and no matter how well-written a story pitch about your company is, if your company has no news value, you will not earn news media coverage.
How to stand out to PR agencies
PR professionals who work closely with newsrooms know what journalists search for when reading pitches, and we look for companies with great news value when taking on clients. This is why it’s crucial for you to be able to identify your company’s newsworthy elements before reaching out to an agency. If you include these interesting elements in your outreach to a PR firm, not only does it save us time by telling us your newsworthiness upfront, but it shows that you did your homework, making you a much more eye-catching prospective client. Showcasing your potential for earning media coverage ahead of time will help you receive the most optimistic response from PR agencies.
If you’re looking to hire a PR agency, earning media coverage is just one thing you need to prepare for. Download our e-book “15 Mistake Companies Make When Hiring a PR Firm” to learn what else you should expect and prepare for when hiring a PR agency for your company.
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