Obtaining publicity for your company through a PR strategy can provide significant value. It’s essentially a third party endorsement generating great exposure for your brand—and in most scenarios, it will cost your company very little.
In this blog post, we’ve included the basics of what you need to know to get your pitch noticed and written about by the media:
Find a hook
The media can smell an advertisement disguised as a press release from a mile away.
Your media releases and alerts should be written to sound like journalists write and need to clearly and immediately state how the subject is of value to their audience. The media will only feature stories their viewers or readers will care about.
Also, every pitch should aim to include an angle that is unique or has the potential to stir up emotions.
If your media release is vague or you’re unable to provide specific dates/times, your story will be trashed. Journalists expect you to conduct the organizational groundwork of any story idea you’re feeding them.
Simplicity is key
Keep your media release as short as possible, and stay away from industry jargon when describing your services or products. A pitch should always be simple and explained in layman’s terms.
Do your newsroom research
Reporters’ emails are often made public. This is because they do, in fact, want to hear from you! With that being said, you must be strategic in how you “blast” newsrooms with your pitch. Do your homework, and only reach out to the individuals in relevant departments (e.g., Don’t pitch your event-related story to the newspaper’s opinion/editorial staff.).
Also, keep your follow-ups to a minimum. If you don’t hear back after a couple emails, let it go.
Stay on top of current events
The easiest way to get a response from the media is by piggybacking your story off of current events. For example, if you were a hospital pitching new robotics technology that’s improving surgery outcomes for patients, it could be effective to tie your story in with breaking news regarding the current health-care debate. This tactic makes your media release more timely and newsworthy.
Don’t forget about social media!
A consistent, professional presence on social media increases your business’ likelihood of being noticed by journalists. Be sure to also conduct social media market research to find relevant hashtags to incorporate into your posts. News directors, reporters, and assignment editors often follow regionally-focused hashtags (e.g., #downtowngb, #lovegb).