How to get in front of journalists and get them to remember you
2019 is here and I'm sure some of you reading this have business goals that you've set for the year ahead. If one of those goals is to boost your brand awareness and credibility then read on!
Having media exposure is a great way to reach new audiences, educate them on a topic that's relevant to your business and boost your credibility through achieving recognition that is ‘earned’ through editorial coverage.
Here are some tips on how you can get in front of leading Journalists and get them to remember you.
Understand what they write about and what they are looking for
First thing’s first, actually read the publications and websites that you want to be featured in. Does the Journalist write about travel? Are you a gym? Then they probably won’t run you unless you are pitching a destination to them.
Make sure your pitch is relevant to their audience. If they're an online, lifestyle site I would usually send them five story ideas to choose from as it gives you more chance that they will like one of the angles.
If they specialise in reviews and telling people about what is happening in your area, send them information on your service or event and invite them to attend for free so they can write about the experience. If they're a magazine that runs product placement, send them a product to try with the relevant information. Still include a few story ideas at the bottom of your pitch.
Know how to pitch
There are a few ways to do this. If you want to pitch to them directly, then find the best person to pitch to by reading the publication or website. Most publications will have the same format for all of their staff emails so contact details are pretty easy to find.
- Make sure you include a few story ideas that are relevant to what you're pitching
- Make sure that the Journalist can understand your email at a glance. I have a ‘5 second rule’ where if I can’t understand the content of the email in 5 seconds, I don’t send it.
- Always email! 9 time out of 10 a Journalist will be annoyed if you call. They write for a living so every disruption takes them out of the creative zone
- Feel free to follow up on your pitches via email
Pitching has a lot to do with relationships and if you don’t have time to make those relationships then consider a service such as the FITtopia Media Hub. It's a platform that allows Journalists to reach out to experts directly. The beauty of it is that journalists are literally on the platform to find story ideas and experts to work with. So far Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, SMH, Daily Mail and Body and Soul have all picked up stories from FITtopia.
You can also...
- Post story ideas that are relevant to your business for Journalists to see and potentially feature
- Receive ‘call outs’ from the Journalists and pitch yourself to them
- Be featured in the ‘Expert Directory’ so Journalists can reach out to you directly
- Receive a media training manual
Know the difference between editorial and advertising
This is a big one that a lot of experts and brands don’t get. Editorial is when you have been featured in the media based on the merit of your idea. You don’t pay to be featured, you earned it and as such it's very
rare that the coverage will appear as an ‘advertisement’ ie. your brand name will be mentioned in every paragraph. This only happens if you get a product placement feature or a trial and review.
You want the reader to enjoy the content. The second they feel they are being sold to they lose interest and then you lose your reader.
For example saying ‘5 ways to use your Breville’ and including a brand mention in every paragraph is boring. It would be better to say, ‘5 ways to make a killer sandwich’ and weave the Breville into one of your points. Lots of people eat sandwiches and would probably get a lot of value out of this story. It's also a more clickable/relatable headline.
Advertising or sponsored content is when you paid to be featured. It'll often include more branding but the Journalist must disclose that the content has been paid for which may stop some people from reading it. It's still a very powerful way of getting featured so I wouldn’t discount it, especially if you have a launch or event date that you're working towards, but be aware that you will need to pay.
Make your content worth their time!
This is an important one. If you get asked by a journalist to provide content, make sure you give the Journalist interesting information that will help them write 400-600 words and make an incredible, clickable and shareable article.
My rule of thumb is to give them something that you would actually want to read! If they ask for your five health tips, sending them simply: exercise, sleep, drink water, stretch and meditate is not going to help them put together 600 words, it's also boring.
If those are your tips that's fine, but give us a reason as to why you're saying it. Is there new research? Do you have tips to help people achieve this? Make it interesting, even if it is simple.
Put them on a pedestal
Finally remember that they are doing you a favour, not the other way around. Some businesses pay upwards of $20,000 to be featured in a publication, and you might have a Journalist like you so much that they are willing to feature you for free.
- Make sure you provide them with good, thoughtful content. If you've included research, hyperlink it in so they can easily cross reference it
- Try to get your content to them in 2 days or tell them when to expect it so they're not waiting for you
- Send them thoughtful emails. Ideally one email with all questions and comments, not 50!
- Thank them for the coverage, share it and tag them
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She is well known with Australian Journalists for providing interesting, unique and timely content and for working with experts including Ben Lucas from Flow Athletic, Sam Wood from 28 by Sam Wood, Zoe Bingley- Pullin, Jessica Sepel and more.
She also has a course that helps small businesses master their own PR and Marketing and today she is offering our readers 50% off.
Use the code ‘Fittopia’ if you want to claim it