There are times you can reach the traditional media using some nontraditional means. Blogging, social media and online wire services can offer unique approaches to garnering coverage in print, TV and radio. For example, sometimes the best way to contact a writer, editor or producer is through the back door. For example, if you’re looking to garner a placement in the Wall Street Journal or Time Magazine, an approach could be to blog on one of their stories. Newsweek and other publications have added blog round up boxes on their sites. What they basically do is report on readers who have blogged about one of their articles. Try picking a publication that’s of interest to you and blog on one of the articles. Now link it using a backtrack line and then submit that to Technorati.com. If all goes as planned, your blog will be reported and they in turn will link to you. At least that’s how it should go. If you’re up for a new approach, give it a shot.
Another way to keep in touch with, or at least in front of journalists is via social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Twitter can definitely be useful since it moves so quickly and new information is constantly being posted. Some journalists will tweet when they’re looking for experts to interview. They’ll also post articles that they find of interest or previous articles they’ve written. This is a great way to get a real sense of an individual writer’s interests, likes and dislikes.
You can also be proactive in your approach. Tweet stories that aren’t necessarily direct pitches but that show your interest in that particular field. If you find something that will possibly interest a particular journalist, Tweet it. And when he or she Tweets something you find of interest comment on it or reweet in. Interaction is fine, just don’t spend your time trying to sell or pitch. When you find something you think a journalist might enjoy, share it. And when he or she shares an interesting article or tweets something entertaining, feel free to comment and interact. Remember the name of the game here is connecting and sharing – not selling and pitching. Still, on those occasions that you do find that perfect story to pitch, go for it, but present it in a way that you’re bringing value to the table. Do not use social media as a way to constantly pitch. You’ll quickly overstay your welcome and lose a valuable connection.
Sharing Your Press Release
Using paid wire services isn’t something I generally recommend, unless your story is amazingly timely, has a celebrity tie in, or has to do with a breaking news story. Your best approach is to send your press releases to a targeted media list and following up with phone calls. Still, posting your releases on free wire services, and (judiciously) posting your release on social media sites can help. If your release has enough useable information on it, you might find that some media outlets as reprinting your release as a short article. Articles that offer tips, or secrets or bust myths can be the most effective. For example: 5 insider tips to a perfect body or 5 secrets to perfecting your golf swing, or The Skinny on 5 weight loss myths. Something else to consider is offer 7 insider tips, only cover 4 of them in the release and end it with the link to your website or blog to find the rest of the tips.
All of these are different ways to get your message and pitch in front of your target media. Using trial and error, find the methods that work best for you and then stick with them.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011