PR Tips: Insider Secrets for Securing Earned Media Coverage
Making The News: How to Get Press Attention
As a publicist for over 12 years, I know how to secure massive media coverage. Here are some of my top PR secrets and tips to scoring big earned media wins with journalists.
How do I get national press coverage?
Everyone wants to be featured in national media. But it is not always the best approach when it comes to PR. Why?
If you are a regional outlet, you may want to get more press coverage in local media outlets that can convert readers to new customers/ patients/ clients.
My PR secret for clients? The power of trade publications.
Trade publications are more likely to run a full feature story than national media or local media. Never underestimate the power of trade outlets when putting together a PR strategy.
How can I increase my media coverage?
Step 1: Identify Target Media Outlets
What magazines and newspapers do you want to write about your business? Do you want to see your business featured in Forbes or Wired, or is your local newspaper the best place to reach your audience? Do you dream of being on The View or hope that, one day, your restaurant will be profiled on The Food Network? Before you can audit your PR campaign, you need to decide who your target media outlets are and, then, how to stay relevant and get their attention.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience
You daydream of being on the cover of Dr. Oz Magazine, but is that the best publication to reach your target audience? Does it establish you as a leader in your industry? To determine this, you first need to know who your target audience is. For example, your ideal customer is male 20-somethings, so ideally you want to be featured in a magazine such as Men’s Health, but if you are trying to reach a more upscale gentleman, your target audience would be more along the lines of Esquire.
Step 3: Pitch the media
Now that you have identified target outlets, start pitching the media! Identify relevant story angles and timely topics that tie into the news cycle. We are not fans of DIY PR, so we suggest hiring a NY PR Firm to assist with the pitching process. Pitching the media involves a lot of details, short deadlines and superb writing skills.
How do I get sustained press coverage after I have already been interviewed?
In order for your business to succeed, you need steady media exposure. To do this, it’s important to stay relevant. One hit wonders in PR do nothing for your long-term brand equity. This is why we only work with people for a minimum of 6-month or 1 year agreements. PR is a commitment from the agencies side and the client side as well. It is important to stay in touch with what is currently going on in the media and utilize that to create new, timely angles and ideas to pitch to journalists and producers.
Conduct a PR Audit
One of the biggest challenges people face with their long-term PR firms is that they struggle to come up with new pitch worthy ideas, or their creative ideas may go stale. You hear about businesses conducting accounting audits and even SEO audits, but you never hear about a business conducting a PR audit. We think that should change. When we start working with clients who have engaged numerous PR firms, the first thing we do is to conduct a PR audit. We look at all of the previous press placements they have received, and look for new opportunities for earned media coverage. It’s best to review and update your media campaign to make sure it is not outdated. A PR audit will help to secure more press placements in the media and, ultimately, achieve your goal of increasing business exposure.
Public Relations Audit Checklist
Use these 7 tips and strategies to conduct a thorough PR audit of your media relations campaign
1. Measure PR Results. What have your PR results accomplished? Has your business been featured before? If so, why was the media interested and what angles resonated best? What media success have you already had? In publicity, history can repeat itself, because if a publication was interested in your business once, chances are that with a more current angle, they may be interested in featuring you again.
2. Personal Branding PR. Are you establishing yourself as a thought leader? Do you have a blog and are you consistently providing content for your customers? Journalists and producers often scroll through blogs for ideas and to look for expert interview sources, so providing valuable content can draw media attention fast.
3. Meet The Media. Have you met the media? Do you know the local business editor at a regional newspaper? Have you been in contact with the local news producers? Do local bloggers know about your business? If possible, arrange a media event at your business to meet the media. For example, a restaurant can open the doors for a media dinner to promote the launch of a new head chef. A winery can offer media wine tasting days, while a country club can offer the media passes to try out the new golf course and learn about what’s new at the club.
4. Consider Sponsorship/advertising opportunities. In today’s publishing world, sponsors are important. Many local outlets have become pay-to-play. What does that mean? To secure earned media, you need to be a paid advertiser. Sure, every publications will say its not true, but anyone who has worked in the trenches from both sides of PR and Advertising, knows it is very true indeed! Once you commit to a sponsorship, your company could receive perks including advertorials and article placements. Yes, you’re paying for a feature, but it does open doors, and sponsored content provides targeted metrics to measure against.
5. Influencer Marketing. Not only can you leverage influencers to attract your target customers, but other bloggers can draw attention to your business too. For example, if you are a fashion business, reach out to fashion bloggers to talk about your new product or clothing line. If you’re the author of a young adult book, there are a wide variety of young adult book bloggers with tens of thousands of followers. Approach them in a respectable, professional manner and pitch them the same way you would pitch to the editor of O or Esquire. Make sure your target audience matches the readership of the blog.
6. PR Monthly Meetings. Every month, evaluate where your target market is and what topic you need to write about to secure earned media attention (and results!). For example, if you are a lawyer and are pitching an article idea to a journalist about the legal ramifications of deflategate on the NFL, it’s best to either tie it into the Super Bowl’s anniversary or when another similar incident happens. Any other time and the pitch just isn’t relevant.
7. Spread the word. Once you secure earned media coverage, make sure you spread the word on social media so that other publications, bloggers and producers hear about it. If your subject is timely, stop posting about it when it looks like it might be out of date.
Finally, keep at it. To stay relevant, you have to stay on top of media trends as well as trends in your business and your competitor’s business. By doing so, you’ll be able to spot the right time to pitch the media about a timely topic, and you just might score the most successful media placement possible.
Have you hit a wall with PR results? You’re not alone! Contact Us for a Public Relations Audit of your press coverage to date. Clients see an immediate revitalization of stale PR campaigns after PR Audits with our Agency. Call today to start increasing exposure for your business with fresh, creative PR ideas!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kris Ruby is a trusted media source and on-air contributor and frequently appears on Fox News to discuss digital trends and breaking news. Having appeared on 100+ national TV segments, she knows what is newsworthy enough to make it on air. By leveraging her media experience, Ruby crafts pitches that garner media coverage and establish personal brand authority in the market.