How to Increase Your Chances of Press Coverage

wall-street-journalComing up with your story ideas, developing your pitches, building your media lists, defining your target market, and writing your initial press release are some of the steps you need to take when launching your public relations campaign.  But those are only the initial, basic steps.  Whereas many people think that coming up with pitch ideas and sending out press releases is all it takes to launch a media relations or publicity campaign, those are simply the initial steps.

Whereas many people think that sending out press releases is how you launch a media relations or publicity campaign, it’s simply one step.  Press releases are important, but generally they’re overrated.  Too many people are under the impression that once they write and send out a release or place a release on one of the paid wire services such as PR Newswire that the media will then come to them.  Truth be told the media is inundated with so many press releases on a daily, even hourly basis that they largely tend to be ignored.  We’re in the information overload era and that’s only going to get worse.  The media is now being pitched via mail, email, social media, phone, etc.  Having worked as a journalist and as a magazine editor, I can tell you from experience, that being in the media; it’s difficult not to feel assaulted by the number of releases and pitches that are sent.

-1That’s why it’s important not to rely solely on releases. .The following are some related activities you can try to stay in the news.

  • Hold a press conference.  But only do this if it’s really warranted.  Remember that media may not show up unless you have something or someone compelling to show them. Make the call to action very, very clear.
  • Contact journalists via social media outlets.  Don’t just pitch them, communicate with them.
  • Send product samples to key journalists.
  • Develop “champions”- high-profile individuals benefiting from your product or service.
  • Monitor the press for opportunities to respond to reported issues that allow you to talk about your own business.
  • Watch what your competitors are doing in the press.  If their ideas are working for them, follow their lead.
  • Monitor speaker opportunities and other editorial/seminar opportunities.  Once you land some, you can then use them to generate more PR opportunities.

Keep in mind when sending out press releases that you need to make sure to follow up with a phone call.  I know, journalists hate follow up phone calls.  To be honest, when I was a journalist I hated follow up phone calls, but when launching a media relations campaign, that’s the only way to make sure that the media received and actually read your release.

The above lists a few different approaches you can use. Now add some of your own ideas.  Get creative.   Have fun and keep coming up with new angles and pitches.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

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