How Can You Get More Media Coverage
5 Proven Ways to Improve Your PR Budget Effectiveness
If you want to get to more media coverage of your brand or your company you need to outsmart the hundreds of other organisations who are competing for the media’s attention every single day.
The media’s inboxes are flooded with bad ideas, bad pitches and boring products that will never get anyone’s attention. And every year there are fewer and fewer journalists to pitch your stories too.
Worse still, those email addresses are flooded with interesting ideas and products but which are badly presented and get lost in the noise.
Being interesting will help your cause but don’t expect the media to do your thinking for you.
You need to do five things to give yourself a better chance of securing the media coverage that will get you attention, improve rankings and frustrate your rivals when they hear about it.
How Can You Improve PR Effectiveness?
Don’t Pitch Your Product to the Media, Pitch the Problem it Solves
Unless what you do is unique or in some way ground breaking it’s unlikely to be reported on at face value.
Every media outlet needs to consider what their readers/viewers/or listeners will get out of every story or feature that they run. So you need to put yourself in the mind of their audience and ask yourself why it’s relevant.
How do you save time, or money or open new opportunities or confound received wisdom?
The easiest way to do this is simply to read/listen to/watch the media outlet you are targeting. Each one will have its own tone of voice and style you simply have to adapt to it.
Pitch to People, Not Organisations
There is no real structure how publishers receive information. Nobody sits at a screen reviewing an inbox and directing pitches to the right person.
You need to find the right person for your story. You can do your research by simply paying attention to who writes or presents what kind of story. That is the best (but also the most time consuming way) to find people whose interests coincide with yours.
There are media databases that list people’s job titles, contact information and some information about the kind of story they cover and how best to contact them.
One simple way is to use a Google site search operator to find who at a news publishers covers stories on a particular subject. This is especially useful at very large news organisations like the BBC with multiple newsrooms and publishing arms For example “site: news.bbc.co.uk fintech”
If You Don’t Have the Time to Build Rapport With the Media, Borrow it From A Freelancer Who Does
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the best time to pitch a reporter is after you’ve built some rapport and understanding of how they work and what they like.
If you don’t have the time to do that now, hire a PR freelancer who knows the sector you are targeting and who knows who to pitch and how they like to work.
It won’t make a bad story great and PR freelancers are professionals not miracle workers who reporters will obey.
But a talented freelancer with genuine category knowledge will not only spot the angle that you might have overlooked, they will know how to package up a story and boil it down the essentials that make for an effective two or three sentence pitch.
A good PR freelancer will also have a few battle scars and will know that it requires a mixture of diplomacy and tenacity to pitch a story to the media and will approach the task with the right attitude.
The media are brutal in rejecting pitching badly aimed or badly prepared pitches and until you have pitched 10 reporters in an hour and been told your baby is ugly a few times it can be very disheartening.
Pitch Ideas to the Media, Not Press Releases
Journalists are unbelievably time poor. They cannot spend hours reading press releases sent to them before deciding what’s relevant and what goes in the bin.
Your email pitch should crystalise what your story is and what makes it credible, all in about three short sentences.
No “hope you are well” or “I’m just reaching out to you” just get straight into the “what this is about” line. Don’t presume to tell the journalist why this is of interest to their audience, the pitch should be clear why it is and they know their audience a lot better than you do.
Journalists will fill in the gaps VERY quickly and decide whether it’s worth opening that email attachment.
When they do, your release had better live up to the pitch and be short and accurate.
Be Pitch Ready – Get Your XXXX Together
You’ve done your homework and you know who you are targeting with what idea (or you’ve paid your PR freelancer anyway)
You’ve got your 3 sentence pitch emails as sharp as a razor
You’ve got your press release all spell-checked and grammatically correct with contact details for you (email and mobile number)
But have you got the other stuff ready?
If a reporter really wants to roll with your story they might need rapid access to the person you’ve quoted in the story. Or they might need to speak to someone who developed the product or did the research. They might need access to more data from you. Can it be released to the public domain? They might want to visit your premises and film or record. Is that possible at short notice?
Basically what further information might they need and can you provide it at short notice? If you can’t then all that good work might go up in smoke.
In summary, the way to get more media coverage is to be disciplined, knowledgeable about what each individual journalists responds to and be absolutely ready to put a lot of time and effort into the task.
Or hire a PR freelancer from The PR Cavalry who will do all that for you at less cost than you might think.