How To Get And Keep Media Attention

10 Fail-Proof Tips to Get Win-Win Media Engagement

I’m the belle of the ball at least as far as PR folks are concerned when I attend conferences as a ClickZ columnist.

The problem: Many PR representatives haven’t done their homework!

They’re so tightly focused on their need to get their client mentioned that they ignore my objectives as a writer.

10 Tips to get and keep media attention

PR is a cost-effective marketing technique that can build your brand and eventually revenues.

These PR professionals and the clients they represent are wasting an opportunity to make a media contact and build a valuable relationship that can yield long-term benefits in terms of media attention.

Here are my top 10 tips for win-win PR engagement that leads to media attention.

  1. Know the journalist’s name and publication. Don’t send a mass emailing because it’s easy. I receive numerous communications where my name and/or my publication’s name was wrong.
  2. Understand why you want press attention. Know what your client does and why it’s of interest to the columnist’s audience. I asked a PR caller what his client did and he admitted he didn’t know. What marketer would let a PR person pick up the phone without that information.
  3. Read articles written by the person you’re contacting. Get an idea of the writer’s focus and what you can offer. A PR person who does this gets my attention. I don’t have to think about how I can use your pitch.
  4. Understand online etiquette and communications. While you may occasionally mass email your press list, apply good email marketing techniques to yield optimal results.
    • Allow reporters the ability to opt out of your press release mailings. I consider them spam.
    • Don’t send mass mailings where everyone’s email address is visible in the “To” line. This violates recipient’s privacy and doesn’t make the recipient feel special.
    • Don’t add press members to your firm’s on-going email list without permission.
  5. Make your company stand out. Since many firms make major announcements at trade shows, assess whether this is the best way for your firm to stand out from a marketing perspective. Consider whether there’s another angle that could engage the press when there’s less news happening.
  6. Become a resource for writers. As a columnist, a supportive PR professional is worth his/her weight in gold. They help me across the breadth of my needs and I know that they or their staff will get back to me promptly.
  7. Build long-term relationships. One PR manager persuaded me to speak to a senior executive at a marketing show with the understanding that I didn’t plan to write about their firm at that time.  A month later when I needed a resource for a column I reached out to this executive since I knew him.
  8. Follow up when you receive press mentions. Send an email thanking the writer, tweet the article, and/or add a comment to the piece. Use this opportunity to extend your relationship with the reporter/columnist.
  9. Include an online PR center on your website. Give writers the ability to reach out to you using their preferred means of communication, email or phone. Columnists don’t always write on a 9-to-5 schedule in your time zone. Make it easy for journalists to contact you when they want your input for a column.
  10. Don’t be a nag. Accidentally, I responded to a major PR firm’s representative only to discover that I knew the company and didn’t admire their work. Despite a post-show conversation in which I explained this, this PR person called me monthly to check if I would write a column about this firm without suggesting any relevant story ideas or new ways to discuss her client. What a waste of my time and her fee!

Build your relationships with writers and bloggers before you need them. Find out what you can do to help them and they will call you the next time they’re writing about your industry.  Remember that a good PR relationship helps both the client and the writer.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Related links:
Help A Reporter Out

Photo credit:  Juliana Coutinho via Flickr

Tags , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.