We’re going old school today, guys. It’s back to the basics as we talk about how business owners can get that traditional-based media coverage we’re all chasing down nowadays. On the Youpreneur Podcast, I spoke with Janet Murray whose decades of experience in the PR industry are now helping entrepreneurs who crave that kind of traditional exposure.
Chances are, you’re going to bloody need these PR strategies. This topic of PR and press coverage for your business or your brand is a hot topic right now. Too many business owners have no idea how to pitch to journalists in a way that will get them a story. The fact is, regardless of what industry you’re in or what you’re selling, getting any kind of good press is game-changing.
The good news is that no matter where you are in the world, you can use these PR tips to get your business or brand noticed traditionally.
1. Go Back to Your Objective
If you’ve had no luck with PR, go back and think about your objective. It’s all well and good to get coverage in a magazine, but if it doesn’t drive your business forward, it’s a waste of time. Get clear on what your objective is and then decide who it is you want to get in front of. What traditional platforms do your audience members consume? If you don’t know, find 5-10 people who fit the criteria of who you want to reach and ask them. These steps will get you on the right track to make an effective pitch.If you’ve had no luck with PR, go back and think about your objective. It’s all well and good to get coverage in a magazine, but if it doesn’t drive your business forward, it’s a waste of time. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
2. Know Who You Want to Target
Journalists don’t care about your business. What they care about is a compelling story. Instead of focusing on the story you want to tell, think about how your story can fit into what the journalists want. You’ve got to understand these publications and programs to give them the kind of stories their audience would find useful. Taking the time to give them content they’ll want to use will get you that much closer to getting published. It’s not rocket science.
3. Just Share Your Idea
People have crazy ideas that journalists are these serious people locked away in skyscrapers in London or NYC. They’re not. The biggest skill you need to get in touch with them is email. Follow them on social media and try to build a rapport with them. You don’t even have to know how to write a press release. If you’ve got a great idea, you can just send an email. As long as you go about it in the right way, no journalist is going to ask, “Why didn’t you write a press release?” A lot of it is about having the confidence to simply share your idea.
If you’ve got an idea that you think would be perfect for Forbes, there’s no reason why you can’t pitch to them today. You shouldn’t ever feel like you’re not worthy of doing that. If you’ve got a great idea and the expertise to back it up, you’re ready to pitch.
4. Don’t Go Traditional
So many business owners want to wait to try traditional PR until they can hire a PR company to do it for them. In reality, journalists would rather talk to you. They like to feel your passion coming through the email or phone call. You can pay PR companies hundreds of dollars to create a press release from a template, send them out, and get nothing but crickets. It’s a waste of time and money.
5. Relate to a Hot Topic
Stop talking about your business if you want to get PR. Journalists aren’t there to promote your business; they are there to provide useful content for their audience. How do you deal with that fact? Look around the edges of your business for PR opportunities. Instead of asking journalists to talk about what you do, tell them about how your life or business is related to a hot topic or how you are standing out from the crowd. While the article might not be directly about your business, you might get a few sentences that are, and that can be a brilliant bit of coverage. Are there any interesting areas of your life that intersect with your business? That’s where the gold is.
6. Crafting the Perfect Email Pitch
Journalists get hundreds and hundreds of emails every day. If yours isn’t up to par, it’s going to get trashed. First things first, use an eye-catching subject. Label your email subject to say ‘Story Idea’ or ‘Pitch.’ Then, summarize your story without trying to be clever. Keep it plain and simple. In the email, address the journalist by their first name, and ask if they’d be interested in your story by giving them the simple summary again. Don’t give a two-paragraph story of your life; journalists don’t have time for that. In no more than a couple paragraphs, explain your idea and talk about what’s next. Like most things, it’s best to keep it simple and to the point.