Media coverage can make a massive difference to the value of your brand. One positive editorial story is valued in the industry as five times that of advertorial coverage due to the fact it is effectively third party endorsement.
In fact, I train all of my clients to become media tarts. Why? Because I have seen first hand how effective media positioning can really build the value of a company. With most businesses the end goal is to increase the value of their business so much so that they can sell it a good profit. So if you want to exit your business asap investing in media coverage is a great way to build your brand in a very short period of time.
But if you don’t have the dollars to pay an agency or PR person you might have to do it yourself (or get one of your minions to). So here are my top five ways of getting media coverage fast. I am assuming you all have professional media photos and product shots as mentioned in one of my earlier posts.
Offer an exclusive.
In an ideal world, no journalist wants to run the same story as anyone else. They want the scoop. They want the Tiger Woods scandal exclusive or the news Mike Tyson is retiring before anyone else. Call up the media outlet with the best reach or the one that will hit your main target market. (ie. Fox Sports) Ask to speak to the producer/ Chief of staff and ask them if they want the exclusive opportunity to break what could be the biggest story of all time. Don’t actually tell them the whole story – just an outline of what it is about. Agree on a deadline for the story to run and negotiate dollars if that is an option. If they don’t do as agreed when you have kept your part of the deal tell them you are going to straight to their competitors to release it yourself and see if that gets them moving. Otherwise thank them for their time and repeat the process with your next big target.
Remember if you have agreed to an exclusive story that also means no tweeting or publishing it on any other social network until the agreed outlet has run it.
Involve the community (i.e. the local sports team)
Doing your own PR is all about positioning yourself in the best light possible. So if you are sponsoring a local sports team make sure you involve them in your media efforts. Call them up to say you are making a donation and invite a local news photographer. You will be surprised by how many times they will love to feature you and your business helping the community.
Keep an eye our for anything weird or wonderful to run a PR stunt.
Yes this is an oldie but a goodie. Animals are crazy and unpredictable. They are often really cute or just do wacky stuff that everyone finds amusing. Now if you have seen Hangover II you will know what I mean. The highlight of that whole movie was the cute little monkey. Play on people’s emotions. There is a reason that all sports mascots are animals. Everyone loves them. And they also make really funny photo or TV opportunities.
Journalists LOVE big figures. Don’t know why, they just do. So if you are investing a large amount of money in something or someone don’t be afraid to tell your local media outlet. Anything to do with large sums of money changing hands is nearly always newsworthy.
I would have to say about 95% of PR companies only email through stories/ news releases. How many of these would I read? Probably close to about 2% – if they have a good subject header. Otherwise it’s the delete key. Emailing releases is fine if you don’t really care so much about getting a result. But as a business owner having to do your own PR you really need to get on the phone. It’s a dying art. Make the most of it. It is a lot harder to ignore a phone call especially if the person on the other end is likeable and charming and actually has a really good story. If you outsource to a PR agency ask them about their process. You want to make sure they do follow up calls at the very least.
Last thoughts? Don’t blow your exclusive by leaking it through Twitter or any other social media network. So that means not telling anyone else what you are planning so no-one else can ‘accidentally’ break the story.
Photo by Gaye Gerard/Getty Images AsiaPac