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By Jillian Ilao on July 3, 2017 |
Editors and journalists receive hundreds of emails a day from people pitching stories. Landing a spot in a publication to get media coverage for an upcoming event, a company announcement or a feature story requires some best practices, techniques and a lot of effort. If you are a small business planning to pitch a story to the media anytime soon, we’ve gathered some tips from the pros on effective ways to get media coverage.
Marc Prosser, co-founder of Marc Waring Ventures
Your press release isn’t going to do anything for you unless you can get it in front of people who will cover it. In seeding your press release, you can use eReleases which can distribute your press release via the Associated Press and PR Newswire networks, as well as their own network of sites. They’re the lowest cost way we’ve found to get AP wire distribution, which is why they’re our PR service of choice for small business owners.
Maggie Aland, Fit Small Business
Subscribe to the website, HARO (Help A Reporter Out), a free database that connects reporters and sources to each other. By using HARO, journalists get the information they need for their articles, while you get press coverage for your small business.
At Fit Small Businesses, we have a lot of experience using HARO, both as sources and journalists. When done right, HARO can grant you access to some of the most authoritative news outlets out there. Read our guide to getting media coverage using HARO to learn more.
As a rule, the media is more likely to cover a story if a human interest element is involved. By producing a case study concerning somebody who benefits, or who would benefit, from your work you will give the media more incentive to cover your story.
One move that will endear you to both the media and the public is, of course, doing goodwill and highlighting your corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to highlight how you’re giving back to the community as a brand/company. Whether it’s a large donation from a tech company or sponsoring a local organization, sharing stories that benefits communities always appeal to the media.
Adam O’Leary, president of Encite Marketing, says a painting company client started a charity event which rewarded one person each year with a free exterior home paint job. The event itself is newsworthy and builds on a previous relationship the company had built with a local reporter.
Matt Bentley, CEO and Founder, CanIRank.com
Journalists crave statistics, original research and study findings because this is something unique that no other writer has covered before. If you are looking to get media attention, conducting a research study is the way to go. It requires a lot of legwork but your chances of getting your pitch read by journalists increases exponentially. It makes their job of reporting a lot easier.
Our company ran a research study last year on the political bias of Google that was picked up by the Wall Street Journal and many other news outlets. We were able to piggyback on the pre-election news trends and generate a lot of publicity for our startup company.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, PR Consultant, Falcon Valley Group
“New” is three-quarters of the word “news.” If your information isn’t new, it’s not news.
Brad Plothow, Head of Communications, Womply
Leverage “hard news.” Use important company events, like a big customer or sales milestone or the opening of a new location, as a “hook” to attract media interest to your story.