What works and how to get coverage
Most newspapers, publications and radio stations get swamped with media releases from small businesses all trying to get coverage for their service or product.
Why are some chosen for publication/broadcast and others ignored?
From our experience there are four basic rules:
- Newsworthy. There has to be a valid reason for covering your story. Journalists call it a ‘news hook.’ Your new fitout in your new office is not a news hook but your pro bono work for a local charitable organisation may be.
- Informative or interesting – to the readers that is. A publication will only print what it believes its readers will find interesting or informative. If you have won an award think about what it might mean to a reader.
- Short and sweet. The shorter the article, the easier it is to fit in and hence the better your chance of getting it run. Write a one page or less media release that can be read quickly. Give it a beginning, middle and end. The beginning is a lead paragraph that should state who, what, where, when and why.
- Don’t do the sell. Remove any flowery adjectives and hyperbole. Just the facts need to be stated.
Keep it up
Supplying regular newsworthy articles is hard, but necessary. Brainstorm ideas with your team. Prepare stories in advance whenever you can and then flesh them out at the time. Read articles in your target media and think through how you could submit similar ideas.
Take the plunge
A number of years ago we engaged a local PR firm to handle some very targeted PR for us. They dramatically increased the media takeup. Of course you need to assess the cost of this against the returns, but gaining one large project could pay for the media a few times over.
Becoming a ‘guru’
Don’t overlook the opportunity to promote yourself through being a guest speaker. If you are giving a presentation to a local business luncheon, turn the content into a media release and send it to the local press with an invitation to attend and hear the full presentation.
Getting PR is not rocket science. Sometimes all it needs is to ask a journalist to write about you, your studio or your client – they all have a job to do and column inches to fill. Keep it short, newsworthy and relevant and you’re half-way there.