One of the most powerful and easiest ways to expose your story to the public is by reaching the media. However, it isn’t easy to gain publicity since reporters are receiving a hundred of pitches daily.
You have to find ways to pique their interest. Your story must stand out from the rest. How would you make it possible?
Here are 11 ways to distribute and get maximum exposure for your content:
1. Identify your target reporters.
You have to identify your target reporters and news outlets before reaching out. Keep in mind that cold pitching is a big no in public relations.
Create a media list. Identify reporters and influencers relevant to your industry. Include all pertinent details, including their name, position, contact details, social media handles, links to relevant stories they have written and information about how to pitch them properly.
Update the list on a regular basis. Make sure that you don’t miss out anything. Media people move a lot of times.
Sometimes, they move from one publication to the next. Others are transferred to other niche. The time you pitch your story, they may not even be covering the same type of stories anymore.
2. Know where to get information of reporters.
After identifying reporters and news outlets, you need to know where you can get information about them. Fortunately, there are many resources available online to get details.
You can use the search engines to find information, online databases and social media channels to quickly start your media list. There are a lot of free online sites where you can get email addresses and contact numbers of several journalists and influencers.
3. Personalize your pitch.
It is very important that you personalize your pitch. Journalists would pay more attention if you show that you are interested in their job, and what they write.
Personalize a pitch by telling them that what you know about them. Mention that you are a big fan, or that you have read their latest coverage and you really admire their work.
It’s very significant that you build instant traction with them. You can pitch better when you know their interest, the type of story they write, or their pitching style.
You can have a better chance of landing publicity for a personalized pitch. Make sure that you know how to spell their name right. If not, you’ll end up in the spam folder and you’ll get rejected permanently.
4. Build relationships for the long term.
Building relationships is not enough. You need to build long-lasting relationships. If you are serious with media relations, you need to leverage tactics that will grow relationships with them.
For instance, find a social media site where you can connect with relevant media, influencers and writers. Use the channel to connect with them.
Copy the names of relevant journalists in your media list. Retweet their posts and mention their stories on your blogs.
You have to go the extra mile. Copy their contact information. Reach out with them on other social sites that they are active in.
Make sure that if you have significant message to tell, they have the feeling that they know you. If you are able to do this, you are surely going to have an edge over your competitors in the market.
5. Do not do mass pitching.
It’s very common for PR professionals to take the shortcut. However, doing this tactic is not going to get coverage.
A lot of businesses commit this mistake, making it harder for them to get publicity. They thought that if they are sending their release to more journalists and influencers, they get more chances to have their stories picked up.
They should instead send their story to a few journalists, who cover the same story in the magazines or newspapers. This way, they get a better possibility of getting media coverage. Make sure to pitch it several weeks in advance before it hit the wires.
6. Reach out to local reporters and local publications.
It is the dream of every company to get publicity from major news outlets like newswire press release publications. However, don’t focus all your effort in seeking coverage from national publications.
You can have better chances if you are going to target local newspapers and magazines where your story is more relevant. Since your story has a local angle, it resonates well with the people in your area.
There is too much competition in the national media, unless you are pitching a breaking story. Don’t discount your chance to gain better exposure from the local media and publications.
7. Send embargo to core outlets.
If you are sending your story under an embargo, you should send it a day before to the news publications. It offers a more simultaneous release of the news the time it is released on the wires. Publications don’t want to appear that they don’t get fair chances to break a story, even by the company’s own publication.
8. Create a flawless pitch.
Your pitch should be free from errors, including grammar, spelling and punctuation. Remember that distribution is important, but you should make sure that you have a well-written release.
Your release should be a ready-to-publish copy as much as possible. Don’t expect journalists to correct it for you.
Correct all mistakes before sending it. Even minimal mistakes are counted.
9. Make the job of the journalist easier.
Journalists receive loads of pitches daily. If you give them a ready-to-publish copy, you will have more chance that your story gets picked up.
Follow the best practices in writing releases. Make sure that your release is written following the inverted pyramid of writing. Provide the key message at the lede paragraph.
Include images or a video that makes your story more interesting and shareable. Avoid jargons, buzzwords and adjectives. Be on point and factual.
Include quotable quotes. If they don’t find your quote useful, they still have to get their own quotes which may consume a lot of their time.
Show that you care about them by making their job easier. If you follow these tips, you are most likely to get coverage.
10. Timing matters.
Timing is crucial in distributing releases. You need to send it at the most appropriate time and date before journalists start pitching to their editors.
Avoid pitching on Mondays and Fridays. The most popular days for pitching is between Tuesdays to Thursdays.
Don’t pitch on the hour as you are less likely to gain coverage. A lot of PR professionals and marketers pitch on the hour. To have a better chance that your story is picked up, pitch at the 6th minute of the hour.
Don’t pitch during the holidays, unless you are sending a breaking news story. Avoid sending it also after the office hours and before 8:00 a.m.
11. Craft a great headline.
Headlines should be catchy, interesting and newsworthy. Journalists assess the quality of headlines before they go on and checking the lead.