While PR agencies can help your organisation get media coverage, they can often come with a hefty price tag. Not everyone can afford to pay a PR firm $5,000 a month to get their business consistent media coverage.
If you’re looking for a way to get PR firm-level results, without the associated costs, it’s important to understand how to connect with journalists that want to write about your business, as well as how to adapt your approach to accommodate for COVID-19.
Read on to find out how you can work with journalists (or in some cases, just one journalist) to ensure your release gets media coverage that works for you.
Pick your targets wisely
Before you start writing your next media release, it’s important to understand your audience, and who you are approaching. Many media releases go unread, so a better approach is to contact individual journalists whose specialist rounds intersect with the topic of your media release. Approach health journalists with your health story, technology journalists with your technology media release and so on.
In a lot of instances, the media releases go unread simply because of the sheer volume of emails journalists receive each day. Therefore, a scattergun approach to reach as many publications as possible is often ineffective. It is far better to team up with individual journalists whose rounds cover your niche. That way your story is much more likely to receive relevant and knowledgeable coverage.
An approach that can prove effective is providing a “drop” to just one journalist and informing them that they’re the only one who will be writing about the story. You can explain to them why the story is newsworthy, as well as giving them an exclusive. This might be just the thing you need to get the story over the line. They get exclusivity, and you get well-crafted coverage.
Hook them in with some relevant news values
Your next step is to write a media release that has a strong enough news hook to entice a journalist to write about your organisation. Many press releases get ignored because they either aren’t exciting enough or don’t have a hook that will resonate with the journalist’s audience. Journalists assess potential stories using news values, which help them work out a story’s potential to grab an audience at a glance. It’s important to be able to understand the 7 key news values:
The more news values your press release can cover in a way that sells the story, the more likely it’s going to be picked up by a journalist. After all, a journalist needs to be able to explain to an editor why a story is worth publishing. They also need to be able to justify why it’s more important than everything else in their inbox.
Make it relevant to the current times
With the pandemic dominating the news cycle, a COVID-19 related angle could increase your chances of getting media attention. For example, is your organisation doing anything to help people deal with the current crisis? Maybe you’ve supported some charitable acts or helped your community out in some way? With the world captivated by coronavirus content, it’s important to consider this when crafting your media pitches.
Hand them interviews on a platter
The last step you need to think about is making their job as easy as you possibly can. Journalists are working harder than ever and are time-poor. Apart from offering yourself as an interviewee, you could even go as far as preparing either written answers to relevant questions or provide interview questions you think may be relevant.
As part of the story, you may also have a client or industry contact that you have worked with who would be interested in being interviewed. If you have someone in mind who would also be a perfect fit for the story, it’s worth letting the journalist know at the outset. This way, they know they won’t have to scramble for additional interviews to craft their story. Your role is to make the journalist’s life as easy as possible, so they can focus on putting together the best story based on your pitch.
If you’re looking for advice on crafting your next media release, as well as how to work with journalists, Media Success can help. We provide personalised training and workshops so you’re ensuring you’re conveying your story in the best way possible. This is how we help you maximise your chances of media coverage. We can also help you understand what a journalist is looking for when they read a press release, as well as prepare you for your next media interview. If you’re looking to find out more about our media services, click here, or get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.