Last Update: August 17, 2015
Media outlets constantly search for stories and people who will captivate the attention of their audiences. What this means for you and your organization is that today is the best time to reach out and earn your share of the millions in free publicity that is available every single day.
How do you impress the media and stick out in a sea of wannabes?
First and foremost, don’t waste their valuable time. Virtually, every media outlet is operating with fewer staff than they had last year. This means that they still have the same pressing deadlines and space to fill but they don’t have enough staff to do it.
If you want your pitch to stand out amongst the thousands that hit their inbox today – it has to be memorable, relevant and thorough. Here are my top four tips to attract media attention no matter what product or service you are selling.
1. Be Newsworthy
You can never hope to “make the news” if you have no idea what is going on in the news. The media is not interested in your product or service. What they are interested in are celebrities, politicians, sports stars, scandals, natural disasters and other headline news.
If you want to be featured, you need to make what you do relevant in the context of what is happening today. Tie what you do to someone or something that is newsworthy and you will become the go-to-expert for top shows, magazines and newspapers.
2. Tailor Your Story
If you don’t read a particular publication or follow a show, chances are that it will be almost impossible for you to hit the target with the editor or producer. Journalists and reporters get thousands of pitches every day – if it doesn’t fit squarely within what they do, they will simply toss it in the garbage. It is better to send out 2 custom pitches a day that are carefully crafted than 100 generic emails or faxes that are too broad to appeal to anyone.
3. Create News
One day I got a call from a national news organization who read my pitch sharing “that 1/3 of the population suffers from insomnia.” They immediately wanted to interview me. Now, insomnia has been around since the beginning of time.
Why did it become a pressing national news story on Tuesday at 9am in Melbourne? One third of the general population is a lot of people. If something affects a lot of people, it becomes newsworthy. The trick to garnering media attention is to take some aspect of what you do and make it tangible and real (as a problem) to the lives of many.
4. Follow The Story, Add To It
If you watch carefully you will notice that the media tends to follow a hot story for an extended period of time. Take for example some of the most recent national news stories. At times the public is forced to endure weeks of national coverage on a specific issue, scandal or debate.
To take advantage of this, track the pulse of hot news stories and be on the lookout for opportunities to enhance the coverage by contributing insights and expert commentary. When it comes to breaking news, the media is on the look-out for related subjects which add to the story or new angles that are fresh and captivating.
Media outlets capture eyeballs with news and they are not in the business of selling your products or services. By following the news and becoming newsworthy, you will increase your chances exponentially of being picked up and featured.
The good news is that media outlets are constantly searching for stories and people who will capture and captivate the attention of their audiences. What this means for you and your organization is that right now, today, is the best time for you to reach out and earn some of the millions of dollars of free publicity that is available every day.
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