“ I’ve always felt that public relations is much more important than advertisements. You pay $100,000 for a full-page AD, And [The Readers] don’t even look at it, but if they read a story about the genius of Donald Trump, everybody reads every word of it. In one case it costs me nothing. In the other case it costs me Millions and millions of dollars ”. ~Donald Trump
Do we need huge advertisement budget to become a ‘Brand’? Anita Roddick Built “The Body Shop” into a major brand of cosmetics. She did not spend a single dollar on Advertisement and other irritating Marketing Techniques.
Interestingly she travelled the world like a crusader for environment. She talked about environment and mentioned that her new range of cosmetic products is natural and never tested on animals. In reality she was on a quest for publicity that she got through numerous articles published on magazines, infinite number of Television and radio interviews about the Environment.
Step 1: Know yourself and decide what you want to be
Before you can tell the press the things they should publish you as; you should know the things you will prefer to be called
1. Determine your message by answering the following questions:
- How you are different from other companies?
- What is your expertise?
- Why are you better than other choices in the market ?
- Your other ‘Unique Selling Propositions’.
2. What kind of region or audience are you targeting? Should you be covered nationally ( If you operate beyond your city)? Or you want local press to cover you ( you operate within your city walls).
3. What you can use (beyond your company or expertise) to help you stand out?
4. List all the places and mediums you think will help your business if you get published there. Blogs, Specific sites, Newspaper, Journals, Facebook Fan pages,etc…
5. Create a list of everywhere you want to be covered: newspapers, sites, blogs, trade journals, etc.
Step 2: Start the search
You have decided what to Pitch? Now you must find out whom to Pitch?
1.Find all the people who are writing about the topics that your business covers.
2.Find all their contact info: You can contact them directly or through social media. More advance trick of getting email ids of anyone are mentioned byMike Abisov.
3. Create spreadsheet and start filling in the details about every person as you get them. The information should include preferred medium of contact, their most covered topics, their specific published article, that you can relate to (It’s a nice conversation starter).
Step 3 : Start Researching
When you pitch someone to publish about your work and show that your only interest is getting published.I think you have zero chances until you are Mark Zuckerberg trying to get Press for Facebook.
1. Read some of the recent articles that were written by the targeted reporter or blogger. Make notes of your thoughts about the article as you read. Put these notes in the draft mail for the reporter or in the spreadsheet (you prepared it in step 2).
2. Engage with the reporter in a useful and creative way. If they engage in comments on their site or blog then use comments. Just be unique in your comments and add value to the conversation to catch their attention.
3. Start following them on the social media profiles that they are most active on. Avoid getting branded as a ‘stalker’. Be Cool
Step 4: Shoot them mails: Headshots and on time
1. Go back to that draft mail and send them the mail telling them ‘how much you enjoyed their particular article and how it helped you or any other person you know in solving a problem or learning something new’. Write the details that tell them that someone is actually reading their work deep.
2. Be crafty with the subject line. Remember others will also mail the same person on this email id (there will be too much noise) and your mission should be cut out the noise and be the Outlier.
3. Keep the email short. They are too busy to read a 3-4 pages mail that you draft.
4. The holy grail of all when you mail a reporter or a famous blogger: Never use an attachment in your emails.
5. Never in the first mail tell them these two things:
- What you do?
- What you want from them.
Just try and sound like a complete fan of their work.
6. I use Yesware, A tool that tells me whether the reporter opened my mail and followed the link or not. I also use a free tool called Boomerang, to schedule my mails and follow-up mails to go out in future.
7.Only when they respond tell them about your work and inform them this thing “I am ready to be of ‘use’ in your future stories that are in my domain of expertise”
8. Now whenever anything major happens and you see an opportunity, send them your opinions (This increases your chance of getting quoted). Whenever you have unique perspective then just mail them in short words. (Also send a link to your bio with your image)
- a) Tell the reporter something interesting, unique and unusual
- b) Always be definitive and have a clear opinion (reporters like people taking sides rather than being diplomatic)
- c) Keep yourself updated on the topics of your industry
8. Some reporters like getting in touch through phone calls. Keep your phone on and be ready and expect any reporter’s call.
Step 5: Earn relationships not just press coverages
1. Building a good relation with a journalist may even get you a 100 Press Coverages. Without a healthy relation with the Journalists you will end up getting only a few hard earned Press coverage’s or just mentions.
To understand it read this Post about Getting Press Coverage and Relationship by Jason Fried
2. Just be unique and thorough. Follow your mails or phone calls with detailed supporting materials and links to support you statements. Also this helps the journalists and they will prefer to publish you above others.
3. Go above and beyond the call of duty to help the journalists. Make their work easy: Since the advent of Internet and blogging the tasks of the journalists are getting pretty tough and they need a lot of unique stories to stay on top. Help them and stand out in their eyes from the rest of the world. Like “ Hey I find XYZ interesting and no one has covered it. I think you will be a perfect person to cover this topic”
- a) Introduce the reporters and journalists to other people that can be of use to them.
- b) If you can’t help them with something then get them in touch with some of your contacts who can.
Step 6: Use social Media To Get on Top
Use the following guidelines on all your social media:
1. Complete all your social profiles and put your contact info in them
2. Expand your reach and connect with the journalists on various social media platforms. Like their pages on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
3. Increase your search ability on social media platforms by including your professional keywords in your title and profiles. This will make it easy for the reporters to find you.
4. Declare that you are approachable on every social media platform that you are active on.
5. Don’t be a secret and include all your contact info on your social media profiles and this includes your work phone number.
6. Be active on groups that are related to your profession and participate to establish your authority.Making Them Cold Calls and Sending spammy mails Is not enough.
7. Use Inbound Marketing to get hotter leads for your PR campaign.
- a) Create Kick- Ass content that establishes your authority and establishes your reputation in the eyes of the readers as an expert.
- b) Share amazing stuff
- c) I cannot see a reason for anyone to not have a blog. So start Blogging about how you do all the expert stuff that you do. When you will do this a devout audience is sure to follow. (When you do start blogging tell me about it! I would love to read about it)
Step 7: How to Use The PR coverage to your maximum benefit
Share the coverage as this helps people realize your worth. So drive traffic towards it.
1. Share it on social media
2. Share it on your company section
3. Share it on the groups you are active in
4. Indirectly let the reporter know that you are promoting the article. (Share it on social groups that the journalist is also a member of or by tagging them in one of the promotions). Don’t take it too far.
The Take Away
Apart from all the above suggestions, the most important quality for getting covered by the press is persistence with discipline. You cannot afford to be considered as a spam in their opinion. Also you cannot stop trying.
Always believe: Your company is worth getting published and deserves press coverage.
You are worthy and you should Pitch them. The worst thing that will happen is that they might say NO. Else there is lot to be WON.
Just by pitching more people in the correct manner as listed above you are already ahead of your competitors. I am very interested in getting your thoughts about getting Press coverage. So please don’t forget to comment below.
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