Getting into a print or online publication can be tricky, from writing an enticing pitch to trying to distinguish your press release from the hundreds of others sitting in the editor’s inbox. We drew from our own experiences with media relations to compile this list of tips to help you get published.
- 1. Be honest – Put your news to the test. Is it really newsworthy? Assess the entertainment value, proximity, prominence, timeliness, uniqueness and impact for the audience.
- Read your target publications– It is crucial that you know what these publications and broadcast stations care about and how they address their audiences, that way you can tailor your pitch to make it more appealing.
- Target the appropriate editors– And producers too. You will have a better shot at success if you send the tech piece to the tech editor, rather than to the lifestyles or calendar editor.
- Write a good release– Keep it factual and interesting to get your point across clearly and concisely. Associated Press Style is never going out of style so learn it and use it! Answer these questions within the first three paragraphs: “who, what, where, when and why?” Put opinions in quotations only and never make outrageous claims you cannot back up.
- Distribute the news through a reliable wire service– Make sure it gets to the appropriate audience, but don’t expect the wire service to do all the work for you! Send your news release with an individualized pitch to top editors/producers at your key 10-20 media outlets.
- Master the art of a good pitch– Keep it short but compelling. No more than three paragraphs. Give information that is not included in the release. If you can capture his/her attention in the first seven seconds, you will also capture his/her audience.
- If you really have a coup to announce, offer an exclusive angle to your number one media target– Or, embargo the news to the top three outlets that are likely to cover your announcement. Give them an early heads-up but ask them to hold the new until you are ready to release it widely.
- Include relevant visuals– A photo of a prominent person, interesting art, charts and graphs help to make a release more interesting. They’ll also get you more space.
- Don’t play hard to get! – After you’ve sent your pitch, follow-up by phone and make yourself available on a moment’s notice for an interview if the editor/producer is interested. Remember they are running on tight time schedules.
- Remember that a good PR agency just might be your best tool – We know the editors, the audiences and the pitch process that will land a story and gain success. A Good PR Agency will help get you the recognition that you deserve.
This post was contributed by Lexy Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive.