Your business just won an award or your company is part of a huge project in the area. You have a story to tell. A really good story. You’ve told the press about it, but you haven’t heard anything. Okay, don’t give up. You may just have to tweak a couple of things.
Know the Media
Take the time to connect and communicate with journalists who cover your industry. And I don’t mean that you have to wine and dine them. Frankly, they are so busy they probably wouldn’t even have time to grab a cup of coffee.
The key to connecting with the media is to read and watch their stories. Share and comment on their stories through social media. There is no better compliment for a journalist than receiving great feedback on their stories. Mostly every journalist is on Twitter. I know that many of you don’t like it or use it, but I highly recommend that you become familiar with this platform. This is a great way to connect and share your press pitches. The more you share and comment on their articles, the more they will get to know you and your business.
Kill the Press Release
Press releases are becoming archaic. Sometimes they are needed, for announcements, but for the most part — they are a waste of time. Journalists are extremely busy and you need to grab their attention in a couple of lines. Goodbye press release, hello to the pitch.
It’s all About the Pitch
A pitch is your story. The keyword here is STORY. PR is all about storytelling. Journalists are storytellers. The public is all about listening and reading stories. So, your pitch is your story summed up in a couple of sentences with key talking points. Why is your story important to the reporter and their readers/viewers? What is the takeaway? What are you doing that’s different? For example, if your company just won an award why? What’s the story behind it?
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is my favorite resource and it’s FREE! This online service is where reporters, bloggers, and producers put out the stories that they are working on and request sources to provide content. From small blogs to Forbes, the media outlets on here are amazing. The stories come out Monday-Friday at 5:30 am, 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm. The key is to act quickly. If you see a story that would be a good fit for you or your business, respond immediately, even if their deadline is tomorrow. We have garnered dozens of press mentions by using the service and I highly recommend that you join. Did I mention that it is free?
Blogging is essential to helping you build your brand. But you should also consider becoming a contributing writer for blogs in your industry. Many blogs look for contributing writers. For example, Hello Giggles and Entrepreneur Magazine have a dedicated page for people to pitch their articles. The more blogs that you write, the more your name will get out there.
There are many other ways to get press coverage, but start with these and you will be on your way to getting your name out there.
You must dedicate one hour a day towards your public relations efforts. It is a lot of work, but you will get results!