4 Proven Strategies to Ensure Media Coverage for Your Press Release
Developing relationships, personalising content, making compelling pitches, and targeting are essential for obtaining media attention.
A frequent strategy used by businesses and groups to secure media attention is the distribution of news releases. There’s a method to the craziness, but sending out a release across the wire doesn’t guarantee that journalists will cover your news. To increase your chances of getting earned media attention for your release, adhere to these four best practices.
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1.Verify if the news you have is noteworthy.
Providing content that reporters and their audiences find naturally fascinating and newsworthy is the first step toward getting a release picked up by the media. Several factors increase the likelihood of a story being covered, such as:
- wide appeal or has a significant impact on a lot of individuals
- Practical guidance that viewers and readers can implement in their daily lives
- A hot news subject or current event that is relevant to your issue
- a well-known individual, celebrity, or reliable source
- Knowledge that people are interested in, such as statistics or study results
- An unanticipated or paradoxical perspective on a subject
Should your release lack truly noteworthy content, your success will only depend on your ability to pitch and your current connections with media outlets. Increase your chances by releasing news about subjects that editors are interested in covering.
2. Go after journalists and pertinent media.
Too many releases use a “spray and pray” strategy, blasting to all possible outlets. This seldom ever functions. Instead, look into publications and particular reporters that have previously covered stories comparable to yours. Make a targeted media list with the 10 to 20 (at most) most pertinent news sources and reporters.
Whenever feasible, obtain the journalists’ direct email accounts instead of the editorial email addresses. One-on-one, customised pitches are much more successful. A fun human interest item would be ideal for a morning show, but it wouldn’t be relevant for The Wall Street Journal. Make sure your news is appropriate for the journal or program you’re pitching.
3. Write strong elevator pitches.
You need to write pitch emails that sell the story and entice journalists to cover it, even if your news is naturally engaging and well-targeted. Important elements include the subject line and introductory paragraph. Since journalists receive a ton of pitches, they will discard anything that is too general (“Exciting News to Announce!”) or too self-serving (“Our CEO is available for comment”).
As an alternative, provide a summary of the major stories that shows how important and pertinent they are to the journalist’s audience. For instance: “New report reveals crisis levels of food insecurity among NYC youth — could impact 250k+ families.” Just enough intrigue should be provided to compel them to read on. One or two succinct paragraphs that are easy to read afterward should be used to summarise the news, important details and data, and the current significance to readers.
4. Establish rapport with reporters.
Building solid ties with journalists covering related issues or your industry will make obtaining regular media coverage much easier. Don’t only get in touch when you’re in need. Stay in touch, exchange ideas, and offer professionals as sources for their narratives. They will prioritise reading your pitches when you have news because they will regard you as a trustworthy source.
Utilise resources such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to establish connections with journalists who are seeking information or expert sources related to your subjects. Building goodwill for when you do make a direct pitch to journalists starts with being helpful and attentive when they seek out.
Although obtaining media attention requires effort, according to these best practices will increase the likelihood that your news releases will result in earned media placements that raise awareness and have a positive impact on your organisation.