How to make the media fall in love you
When I first started out in Public Relations, I was given some pearls of wisdom that were invaluable.
Although the PR climate has changed somewhat, I have lived by these PR pearls for the last 16 years, and will continue to do so for the next 16!
Regardless of where the future of PR lies, this advice will be timeless.
Your media release must be professional. To the point! Write for the media. If you can’t write for the media, hire someone to write the release for you. Media can be contacted hundreds of times a day or more, so your media release has to stand out. If it is full of mistakes or poorly written it will hit the trash.
I write in a journalistic style so that the media, who are more and more pushed than ever, can pull quotes, or even use the media release in its entirety and attribute their name. Make it as easy as possible for them.
Length of release – most people say one page, I say maximum of two pages depending on the angle. A profile could be one page, a product/products launch can be two. No longer than two.
Provide high quality, relevant images. It could be the reason you get your story gets noticed and featured. These days, media outlets don’t have the resources to send photographers out to shoot every story, so if you can provide high res images, which is pretty easy to do with the quality of our phone cameras, it makes it so much easier for them to say yes to your story.
For hard/breaking news sending it out immediately is recommened. For anything else, I generally contact the media on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
If the media are like me, they are inundated and by Friday they are gearing up for the weekend. If you can identify when publications are on deadline, I avoid those times to. It is amazing the difference this makes.
Add a personal touch
I always address every single one of my emails personally. This is the best way to establish a relationship. I have spoken to countless editors over the years, and they have all said that they almost never respond to a blanket email. Whereas a personal email shows that you have taken the time to get to know who they are and what they do.
There is one thing I can’t stress enough. Follow up! This is the best way of getting your media release picked up and your and building awareness of your business. Too often people send out a release and if they hear nothing back, just leave it and wonder why they are not getting results.
Following up is essential. In my 16 years of experience it is the follow up that gets results.
Editors/journos are extremely busy. They may initially love your media release/pitch but could be on deadline.
They may flag you for later or just need a reminder. The follow up will do that. I have had almost all of my media placement through follow up.
If you are knocked back, which you will be, up, stay polite. Getting annoyed, which apparently does happen, will not do you any favours.
I always thank an editor/journo and let them know that I appreciate them for getting back to me and letting me know, regardless of the outcome.
I once had the producer of and ABC radio program tell me she had never had anyone as gracious receiving a ‘no’ from them.
The next time I pitched, and it was relevant, it was picked up straight away and she remembered me.
While the media release is the key to getting you noticed in the first instance (and I can’t reiterate enough that it must be professional, so if you writing isn’t your strong point, it is mine so I can write it for you), but it is the extra effort you go to that will help you stand out and continue to stand out.
If you have any other pearls of wisdom, I’d love to hear them.
If you need a PR campaign that will get you noticed for all the right reasons or need content that will make everyone look twice, let’s chat. The PR world is your oyster.