It’s been said that I make it look easy to get in the press, and while that may be true it really doesn’t in my viewpoint take rocket science for you to achieve that too. Admittedly this year I’ve worked closely with Voom Media run by Vanessa Moon, but that is purely because I’ve wanted to concentrate on other areas of my work and not as much on PR. So here are my 7 top tips to getting in the press for free.
(Just remember it will cost you your time, so make your time count, don’t get distracted by social media, get on with it, and get it out there!) And if you think you can dip in and out of this, think again. As with any area of your marketing strategy you need to be consistent with this. My marketing production line really is the basis of this, but this should get you started;
- Write a press release about something that is happening in the national news from a local viewpoint. If you’ve never done a press release before here are a few pointers;
- Don’t try and sell anything.
- Speak third party, ie; International author and speaker Mandie Holgate added “….. (Unless you are being asked to share your personal viewpoint in a column for instance.)
- Finish with END and then add a short bio (usually only a couple of lines) explaining why you are the expert and why its relevant. (Still not salesly!) Add contact details and website if relevant to do so.
- It must have a killer headline. Something that the reader (and editor will instantly want to read). (Don’t know what words to include? You probably need to spend all of £24 and do my Marketing Production Line course to understand power words)
- Pictures really do paint a thousand words. So, add a great image that tells your story.
- Don’t try and cover too many topics in one article.
- Know who you are writing for. And no that’s not you, that’s the publication. They are not a charity they want to increase sales. So, their publication needs to be interesting, useful and relevant to their target audience. Make their life easier and provide that kind of content.
- Get yourself known as a thought leader in your industry by writing blog articles that you share in multiple ways. Social media is used by journalists to find experts to speak about all sorts of subjects so what do you want to be known for? Get blogging, vlogging and sharing your views on that subject, and make sure you do this regularly.
- Listen to local radio and buy the local papers that you wish to feature in. If they are covering a subject and you can give them the local view on this, phone them! This way you also understand their style of communication and how you will need to adapt to fit into this.
- If and when you get on the radio or to speak to a journalist remember nothing is off the record and if you sell at them, you won’t get a second chance.
- Share your big news. And if its salesy, don’t do it! Partner up with a local charity and help them raise their profile. Host an event for a local charity and get in touch with the press to tell them more. First year in business? First member of staff? Awarded a grant? New premises? Sold your first product to the US/or outside of the UK? Won an award? Read the publication in question to understand what they consider newsworthy.
- Have a strong view on a subject? Be prepared to back it up and to have some people not like your views and speak out!
- Check out the hashtag #Journorequests. And if you are thinking of writing a press release, and dumping it on your website and adding the #journorequest to a link to your article on social media, then think again. Seriously respect how busy and how many tight deadlines journalists have. And don’t ask for my journalist friends contact details. I too respect their busy schedules far too much to let them be spammed by people who just don’t get how to use PR in their business.