By Emma James
It’s one thing to create great content, but another to actually get it published. As a PR professional, you must not only strategically send your stories out to the media, but also get their attention and convince them it is worthy of coverage. There are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when trying to garner media coverage.
First thing is first: get personal. PR is all about making connections and, more importantly, maintaining them. By keeping an open dialogue between yourself and target publications, you are more likely to get your pitches noticed, or even have the publication reach out to you directly for content. A healthy working relationship means the potential for collaboration down the road. However, even if you do not know the editor you are pitching to, there are still ways to keep things conversational and friendly, yet professional. Pitch emails should address the editor personally, so they know you are not simply copy and pasting the same email to every outlet you know. By approaching new relationships with authenticity, you set a precedent that your client’s brand is one that should be noticed, and that they are easy to work with.
Going hand in hand with that, it is also ideal to offer media outlets exclusive interviews in addition to providing pre-written content. Not only does this allow a certain outlet access to a top-notch and much sought after subject matter expert, but it also gives the publication the opportunity to work directly with your client. By initiating relationships between a media outlet and a client, publications can foster a better rapport with your client which in turn could result in future opportunities.
Another way to get increased media coverage is to say yes as often as possible. If a publication has a recurring column and offers your client a spot, take advantage of the opportunity. If a publication has roundtable discussions weekly on topics that your client can comment on, be sure to leverage that opportunity, as well. Opportunity for coverage, both big or small, is worth the effort. Eventually, publications will begin to see you as a reliable, willing source and will reach out to you directly for article opportunities.
Lastly, the most obvious yet most important, is to keep your finger on the pulse of the market. Keep up with trends and issues in your particular market by reading industry trade publications, blogs, joining a specific LinkedIn Group that discusses issues or attending an industry specific conference. It is important to stay on top of what everyone is talking about for the issues in your respective industry.
Ultimately, gaining media coverage is all about planting seeds and then nurturing them as time goes on. It is easy to send out a press release through PR Newswire, but establishing solid relationships and maintaining them over time is what will set your business apart from others. Keep it conversational, keep it informational, but more importantly, keep it real.
Emma James is a PR Coordinator at Eclipse Media Group where she provides a well rounded approach to client content, balancing quality content while preserving client voice.