Getting media attention

Jan 22, 2015 by

Getting media attention

Getting media attention

If you’re already seeing our daily media alerts so make the most of them. But in addition, you can be using them to grow your own media contacts list and send you own practive press releases. Here’s a quick guide.

The cardinal rule – get the right contact on the publication

You can have a brilliant story or press release, but if it doesn’t reach the relevant person, you’ve fallen at the first fence and it may end up in the bin. Research the publications you’re aiming at and PHONE to get the name of the relevant person – this might be ‘the news editor’ or ‘the features editor’. The editorial assistant is often the best point of contact initially as they will generally know who’s who and be able to point you in the right direction. These days, it’s probably more efficient to email the relevant person in the first instance – maybe with a short introduction and a synopsis. Make sure you include a phone number – if it’s a news page, the news editor may want to run the story NOW, and will want to get in touch with you immediately.

Preparing your pitch and making your story interesting

Find out the reader profile

Research the reader profile. What sex? What age? What type of job? What level of communication? How do they vote-or do they? Copy the house style, ensuring the tone and angle are right for the reader.

Send it in at the right time

Find out how far ahead the publication schedules are – glossy monthlies may work six months ahead. Find out the date of the features conference for the issue you want to target and pitch your idea at least a few days before.

Stats, surveys & quirky facts

Stats and surveys are news and immediately make your story more likely to be picked up. Quirky facts capture the imagination. All of these elements may end up being used separately, maximising the impact of your story.

Source a range of case studies

Offer different case studies to each publication, making sure they’re the right sex and age. If you’re pitching a case study as a stand-alone feature, summarise their story with a punchy headline and strong angle.

Is there a Celebrity angle?

This can be useful for some popular publications & news stories.

Sell the story

Come up with a great headline

The headline is the most important part of your press release. If it’s dull, most editors won’t read on. Editors tend to think in headlines, so if you can’t sell your feature on the headline alone, you’ll be lucky to sell it at all.

Create short and punchy copy

One side is ample. If the journalist needs more, they’ll call.

Include a picture of your product if relevant

Many writers and editors are looking for photographic material to illustrate their pages, so this can be useful. As can be INCLUDING A DIRECT LINK to your website so the writer or editor can take a look.

Build a relationship with the journalist

Call to check they’re the right contact. If appropriate, call later to follow up. Remember there’s a fine line between friendly and annoying but if you follow the tips above, you’ll be ahead of most of the competition.

Thanks to Elaine Griffiths, editor of Prima Baby for providing these insider tips on getting to editors.

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