In our previous blog, you learned how to identify our audience and determine where they are consuming your content.
Now you know who and where to find them, its time to capture the editor/ journalist/ producer’s attention.
Earned media coverage involves brand endorsements and mentions voluntarily given by others and can be a powerful method of amplifying your external communications strategy and reaching your target audience.
‘Traditional media’ aka TV, print/online and radio can often seem impenetrable, however there are ways to maximise your success. To position your business in a positive light, you need to build credibility to bolster a strong story. These are the non-negotiables media MUST have when you share your story to get cut through.
A representative from your business who can talk to media from an internal perspective (confidence and a strong knowledge of the business is a MUST).
A third party who can talk authentically about their experience with your product or service. It’s important to make sure this person feels comfortable on live interviews/ in front of the camera and is briefed correctly.
What is the problem in the community you’re engaging with, why is it relevant to the outlet’s audience and how are you solving this issue?
Identify why you are different to your competitors and why the media should be talking about you.
Back up your story with facts. Share specific data, research and statistics that prove the problem, why your solution works and how you are different. If your organisation owns the research – even better!
Take a look next time you read the newspaper or watch the news and see which of the above are included in the segments and articles. Once you’re confident you have all these elements covered, it’s time to consider how to sell your story. There are a number of ways you can sell your story, however the placement and avenue you take to get there can be detrimental to the success of publicity. Here are the key methods:
– creating the ‘angle’ or story. This option is often less timely and requires a compelling concept to create media interest.
– responding to an industry story or coverage about your organisation for additional commentary.
– identifying opportunities within or outside of your industry to provide commentary. This response requires an agile approach, and the best results can come from targeted, tailored outreach in response to an article that has already run on a timely topic.
– offer a unique opportunity, such as a launch, to a publication exclusively. This means the publication has a first-to-market run, which can then be followed by outreach to additional publications. An exclusive format works well in today’s current media landscape where outlets are competing to be the first on the scene or to have the inside scoop.
No matter the approach, your outreach should always include messaging and information that is authentic, credible and impactful. Now you’re prepared and at the starting line ready to hit go, there are a few other external hurdles that can get in the way of taking home the win:
– will override all news given the timeliness and usually urgent nature (particularly in the current climate)
– can push your story out of the schedule
– can mean higher priority items are published over your story
– media need to diversify their stories to keep their audience engaged
– no room for new discussion topics
– your story doesn’t suit the outlet’s format/ topics/ audience
– you cannot share the assets required in line with the outlet’s deadlines
– publications don’t have the physical capacity to craft or produce your story
– outlets (particularly magazines) are focusing on majority paid advertorial, reducing the opportunity to receive editorial
– your story isn’t relevant to the conversation anymore
Don’t feel depleted if you find yourself in any of the above situations – it’s common and not everyone can pick up your story. Look at what else the business is doing, how else you could contribute to your industry as an expert, and the activity you have on the horizon. Pick yourself up and try again with a fresh approach.
Happy pitching! And, if you need a hand building an integrated approach to reach your audience – connect with our team of experts today, get in touch with our Communications Director, Laura Carlin via email@example.com
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