5 Tips for Catching the Media’s Attention
There isn’t a business out there that wouldn’t benefit from business coverage (except maybe an illegal business!). Follow these tips for attracting journalists and getting your brand information out to the public, and learn more here about running a small business.
1. Always pitch via e-mail instead of the phone. There isn’t a reason to pitch on the phone anymore and cold calls will only annoy journalists. E-mail is much more convenient and expected. Make sure your subject line is short and descriptive - it has to encourage the journalist to open the e-mail. The pitch should be concise, interesting, and to the point.
2. Don’t make your pitch sound like marketing copy. You want to talk to the journalist, not at them - leave promotional speech out of the e-mail. Don’t use general advertising words, like “groundbreaking” or “amazing.” Instead, provide information that’s useful to the media outlet, like how your product or service coincides with a current event or how you have an idea for a followup piece.
3. Proofread your pitch twice...or three times...and then again. There’s nothing worse than an e-mail with an error, especially if that error changes the meaning of your pitch (“can” instead of “can’t,” for example). Pitches that are filled to the brim with spelling and grammatical errors aren’t just unprofessional, but they can look like spam, too. If writing isn’t your strong suit, hire a writer to draft the pitch for you.
4. Keep it short. There’s a reason why journalists love being pitched via Twitter - there are only 140 character slots to say what needs to be said. Writing more doesn’t mean you’re more likely to grab their attention - the opposite is true, actually. Journalists are busy and they don’t have the time to read lengthy pitches.
5. Once you’re covered by a media outlet, maintain a relationship with them. Treat each media feature or mention as a networking opportunity. These relationships can very possibly lead to additional coverage in the future. Stay connected with the journalists on social media and send an e-mail to them every once in a while to check in and stay in the loop.
Most industries are competitive and it’s difficult to get attention from media. That doesn’t mean you should stop trying, though - journalists do focus on brands, they just have to know you exist first!