Are you sick of seeing the names of your competitors plastered in print and wondering how they’re getting all of that glorious media coverage? Ever thought about trying to get some coverage yourself? Here are some tips to help researchers get into the media:
Define your objectives.
Think about what you want to achieve with your coverage and who you want to read your story – and then work out what they read. It might sound fantastic to be in Time Magazine, The FT or The Economist, but if you are an agency, how many readers will be able to put some market research business your way or be a potential employee? On the other hand, if you are looking to raise the your profile or that of your company because you want the interest of financial investors or potential buyers, then that might well be the right audience.
When you have defined which publications you want to reach, read them. Gather inspiration from stories they have written in the past, identify gaps in coverage that have yet to be filled, and avoid topics which have recently been covered. Note down the relevant journalists (they will be the ones who have written stories on relevant topics in the past) – contacting irrelevant ones is a waste of your time and theirs, and is a sure-fire way to get yourself blacklisted.
Think about what you’ve got to give.
Think man bites dog. Does your business have an interesting story to tell? Are you sitting on some interesting research? Have you just finished working on a breakthrough project with a client which the client is happy to talk about? Have you got an idea for a thought piece? Any or all of these are great ways to interest a journalist or a publication.
Before you rush into anything, write a synopsis. The purpose of a synopsis is to inform the journalist about the piece you would like to write/like them to write up. This should be written in a concise, but appealing fashion – considering and communicating appeal to the journalist’s audience in less than 500 words. If you want your piece considered, a good synopsis is crucial. You can send this to a journalist to see what they think – they might have some feedback – or they might tell you it’s a no goer (but chances are they won’t actually reply…).
In our experience, engaging with journalists via social media is a good way to get to know them and get on their radar. If you are commenting on areas they are interested in via your blog, or if you are commenting and responding online to articles they have written this will certainly benefit. If you’re successful with your direct pitch, you must ensure that you deliver to deadline. Most journalists do not have the luxury of moving deadlines – if they give you one you must deliver on time, and make sure you return any calls and answer any emails from the journalist as soon as you can. Not delivering on time will scupper your opportunity completely.
If you’d like some help with getting into the media, please get in touch.