Media coverage is a great way to promote your business to a large volume of readers. Especially with more publications taking the online route this opens up additional opportunities for global reach. It might be not particularly easy to track down the return on investment or capture all the readers, but will gradually help to build your brand within the readership of your target publications. Anyone actively involved in PR will tell you that the key to get to those publications is a matter of existing relationships with journalists. But what if you don’t have those relationships and are looking for alternative routes to get coverage? Here are a few tips:
1. Get in touch
If you don’t ask, you will never know. What is the worst thing that can happen? They will say no – which is where you were before you asked anyway. Be upfront, open and provide a few points on how the journalist and the publication would benefit from publishing your article. Bear in mind that journalists will receive a large number of enquiries so it is only those that stand out that will be read and potentially considered to get coverage.
2. Tell a story
Everyone loves a good story – especially the media. Case studies, recent events – things that the readers can relate to are a great way to generate media interest. If you can also link to another recognised brand you have a double chance of coverage. Look at quirky, innovative angles that are relevant to the potential readers as they are much more likely to be picked up that the self-promoting, “stating the obvious” articles which provide zero value.
3. Make it relevant
The more readers can relate to your story the better. Look at real issues that your readers are likely to be facing and offer solutions. It is not just about analysing situations, but looking at the “so what can you do about it”. Provide insightful and practical advice people can use in their day to day life. Chances are that journalists will be keen to push this to get published.
4. Link to data
Everyone can talk, but it is really credible data that people believe. If you can link your story to recent research, the article will also have a news factor which will make it twice as popular. Research, however is time sensitive so be sure to use up to date data. Saying “recent research” when in fact the research was done years ago is not credible and will have the opposite effect.
5. Look at the bigger picture
When working in a certain industry, we naturally become fixated on that industry and we want to be seen in verticals other people in our industry would read. However, consider looking at broader business publications that reach a more varied readership and link your story to wider business issues. This will expand your reach and will demonstrate that you are able to see the bigger picture.
6. Speak a common language
This is an easy trap. As we are all so used to using industry/ business jargon, we forget that people don’t understand what we are talking about. Distance yourself from this narrow-minded approach and put yourself in the readers` shoes. Using clear language free of acronyms and jargon will make it easier for all to understand what you are saying and will positively impact the probability of coverage.
7. Look out for editorial calendars
Some publications will have editorial calendars that they will publish online. Have a look and see if there are any topics relevant to you. If so, submit your articles. Editorial calendars are also a great way to find out what topics are currently trending and can help you to tailor your other articles too.
You will find that it takes a lot of time and work to secure press coverage so don’t be disappointed if you struggle to succeed at the beginning. You will also gradually build relationships with the press so the more you interact the more you will be noticed. Just keep positive and focused and you will start seeing results soon.