Yesterday we hit a PR home run. We got one of our clients featured on eight different segments of a highly-viewed morning show. Piece of cake, right? Well, if you know what you are doing, yes, it can be. But even with the best story, it is sometimes hard to get a reporter to bite. If you want the attention of the media, we recommend the following five easy tips:
Tip No. 1: How good is your story? Really, be honest with yourself.
Not every story deserves coverage. However, every company has a story that does deserve a strong public relations campaign. Don’t just talk about yourself, identify what is truly unique about your company.
Good example: Company XYZ was the first company to ever invent, offer, provide… and we anticipate that it will be the best product, ever. The press loves to report on “firsts.” If a company develops a new category of goods or services, it is considerably easier to attract the media’s attention.
Poor example: Company XYZ grew 200% last year and hired Mr. Fantastic. Yawn. Unless Mr. Fantastic is as famous as Steve Jobs, nobody cares. New hires and growth are not ground breaking, nor interesting.
Tip No. 2: Be a good story teller. A really good story teller.
What makes a good comedian? Have you ever heard two people tell the exact same joke, and one comedian will be hilarious, and the other dry? Why is this? Delivery. It is all in the delivery.
Be passionate. Be Funny. Be real. Be you. If you are passionate about your story, others will be, too. Think about what moves you about your company. If you don’t know, talk to your employees, clients, or shareholders. Or, hire a good PR Firm. A strong PR company will spend time interviewing you, and through a discovery conversation, will identify a number of exciting pieces.
Tip No. 3: If at first you don’t succeed, well, you know the rest.
In our recent quest to get RunLikeAGirlRetreat.com some great PR, we got shot down. At first, everything was going great. The reporter was interested in the story, and thought it could make a great piece. Then he presented it to his producer and BAM, we were history.
We went back to the drawing board, and thought about how we could change the story to make it more interesting. We worked on the message and proposed new segments. We resubmitted, called, emailed, and practically stalked Fox 13. Through our tenacity, we were able to garner the interest of the reporter, again, and shortly after, we were on the schedule.
Just because you are told “No,” doesn’t necessarily mean your story is bad. It might just mean that you need to change it a little, and follow up… a lot. Don’t give up.
Tip No. 4: Start a relationship with the media. (Easy fella, not that kind of relationship!)
If you want to have a friend, be a friend. Right?
Well, the same goes for networking in the media industry. Develop relationships with reporters, editors, and producers. These folks are pitched hundreds of stories every single day. If they have a relationship with you, the chances of your email getting buried in their inbox decreases dramatically.
Don’t know where to start? Follow them. Comment on their articles or blogs. “Like” them on Facebook, and comment on their posts. Follow them on Twitter. Retweet their tweets. Start having real dialogue. When they are live on location, visit them. Say hello. Bake them cookies. Send them fan mail. Seriously. Treat them like your very favorite neighbor. The end result: you will make new friends, and be featured in stories. Win, win.
Tip No. 5: Think like a producer.
You are now as cool as Steven Spielberg, well, almost.
Producers are all alike. Whether they are producing a movie, newscast, commercial, television show, or documentary, they think in terms of viewers. They understand what makes someone sit back and enjoy a show. They want their stories to be interesting to a large audience, because they want a large audience.
Producers are held accountable for the number of viewers, so they are very selective in the stories they air. Who is your audience? Think big.
That wraps it up. Evaluate your PR campaign, and implement the tips above, and I am sure we will be watching you on CNN in the very near future. Go, get ‘em!