1. Develop a great story. This is crucial. If you don’t have anything interesting for the media, why would they care? The key is to identify the story idea, flush out the specifics and give it some personality and flavor to make it appetizing for the media.
2. Pick the right tools to communicate your story pitch. Everyone needs a news release but many other tools will help sell your story to the media. Think about a video, an infographic, a white paper or some internal research that elevates your pitch and helps you stand out from the crowd. Think visually. Graphics work well with today’s audience.
3. Spend time researching your targeted media. Analyze your targeted publications or TV stations in advance of your pitch. Determine if they run stories similar to those you are considering for publicity. For example, business stories are difficult to sell to a consumer related publication. Highly scientific articles might work for an industry trade journal but usually won’t fly with a local newspaper. Read and watch and see if you story idea makes sense for the media you are targeting.
4. Write clearly and to the point. Communicating your pitch in a news release or email takes some practice and finesse. This calls for simple, concise but interesting sentences. Busy journalists don’t have time to read elongated pitches and multi-page releases. Write in a style that sells your story or find someone who can.
5. Focus on a great email headline. Most communication with the media is done by email, and you need to make your subject line interesting so it stands out from the crowd. Instead of “New business set to open in Osage County” make it “New business will add 50 jobs to Osage County and feature new products and services never before offered in the area. Mayor and local officials excited in anticipation of the opening.”
6. Give your article “tentacles” to continually build on the story. You can gain additional media coverage from one story by leveraging it for another. When one of our clients was on the NBC Nightly News we contacted the local newspaper and told them about it. They had a local gossip type column and ran a story that our client was on network television. This was a good way to reinforce the story and give the client additional brand recognition in the local market they serve.
7. Amplify your news on social media. Reach your customers directly and thousands more by sending out your article or TV story on social media. You can link it to your corporate or personal sites. In many cases your followers and friends may like it and re-post it. This way you generate thousands of more views with just a little effort.