Every startup – every company, for that matter – wants media coverage. From brand awareness to traffic and an increase in customers, media coverage is hugely important for a business. How do you get that coverage, though? Media outlets are bombarded with pitches every day. It’s difficult to stand out from the crowd, but it’s necessary if you want those outlets to take notice.
1. Act like an expert.
Signup for HARO (Help a Reporter Out), which is a free platform that puts journalists in touch with industry experts via three daily requests. The requests give you the opportunity to show off your expertise as well as your brand.
2. Build relationships.
Before pitching a journalist, establish a genuine relationship with them. This is the best way to get your foot in the door. Comment on their stories, interact with them on social media, and share their posts. When you do contact them directly, whether to comment on a piece they wrote or pitch your idea, they’ll already know who you are. Don’t ego-stroke; be genuine.
3. Pitch first thing in the morning.
If your idea is time-sensitive, you need to get it to the journalist early. When you pitch in the afternoon, their day has already been laid out as much as possible and your idea will undoubtedly be overlooked. Pitch your ideas before 9 a.m. – most journalists are up at the crack of dawn.
4. Stop sending press releases.
This may sound like the opposite of everything you’ve learned about appealing to media. After all, a press release is specifically meant for the press! Media doesn’t want to publish dry, boring information, which is what a press release is for the most part. Plus, press releases are often promotional and use advertising-speak, which media isn’t interested in.
5. Catch their eye with infographics.
Visual content is extremely appealing to the media, especially if they have a website (like an online newspaper). Infographics get a lot of attention and are shared often online. For the media outlet, that means more page views. Whenever you can add an infographic to your pitch, go for it.
Don’t assume that you won’t get media coverage simply because it’s a competitive market. If you believe in your brand and build genuine relationships, media coverage is likely to follow. Find a small business resource center for more tips.