Are you looking to get featured in the press but have no idea where to start?
Well, let me first applaud you.
You absolute star!
I’m guessing you already KNOW the many reasons why press coverage is super important for TURBO charging your reputation?
But now you’re thinking… ugh, where the hell do I start!
If you want super simple awesome steps to get started, then you’ve come to the right place.
Before we begin, here are a couple of things I want you to keep in mind before I share my insider secrets…
Don’t be publicity-shy!
Remember reporters, editors and program makers all need to fill their pages and airtime with interesting stories like yours.
They’re actively looking for content so give it to them!
Ever wondered why the same ‘experts’ always pop-up on your TV or radio?
Because they’ve become a reliable source for those programs.
If you’re 100% focused on telling great stories, rather than selling, you can build long-term relationships with the press.
You can become their go-to expert. Goal achieved my friend!
Ok, you’re ready to do this.
Here are my 5 simple strategies you can do right NOW to get media coverage.
Ssssh keep them to yourself…
Strategy 1 – Contact Your Local Press
Yes, I know!
Kind of a DUH moment!
You’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this.
I’ve got a lot of love for local reporters. They work hard to fill those pages.
These guys are on your doorstep. They’re actively looking for stories – like yours – day in and day out.
They want to champion their local heroes and share your story.
But don’t just pick up the phone and say, “I’m here”.
You’ve got to have something to say.
Think about the angle… maybe you’re working with a local charity or cause or you’ve got a story to tell that’s relevant to a local issue.
Maybe you’re taking over the world with your service and it’s all happening in their city!
This is gold dust for them!
Get in contact with them and explain what you’re doing and why they should be interested.
Developing a long-term relationship with your local press is your aim.
Strategy 2 – Sign up to a Free Media Matchmaking Service
These are fab!
We’ve all heard of Tinder to find the love of your life, right?!
These services do exactly the same, except they match journalists to entrepreneurs and businesses.
They’re not as sophisticated as some of the dating apps – *swipe left, swipe right* – but they can be very useful for connecting with journalists looking for stories like yours.
There are so many to choose from.
It just depends on where you are in the world and what industry you’re in.
Here’s a little run down of the ones I use…
1. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out.
It’s used extensively by high-profile media. Think NYT, Huffington Post, and Forbes!
How does it work? It’s really simple – as easy as 1, 2, 3.
· Register for free.
· Read your emails each day.
· Respond to reporters.
What’s the catch? There is none!
Sure, not every opportunity will result in a win but the more you respond to, the greater your chances.
Much like HARO but Sourcebottle is worldwide – US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
You register for free and choose the country and topics you want.
You’ll start receiving emails with media opportunities focused on the topics you want – business, property, fashion – you get the picture.
Then respond with your awesome pitch!
3. Follow #journorequest
This isn’t strictly a service but if you’re in the UK, search for #journorequest on Twitter.
This hashtag is used by the UK media actively looking for people to interview for stories.
These are live searches going on right now, so they change minute by minute.
Check it out.
Strategy 3 – Guest Blogging
What is it?
Guest blogging aka guest posting is writing articles for other people’s websites.
(That’s exactly what I’m doing right now – guest blogging on the Screw!)
This is probably one of my favorite things – EVER!
It may seem like the poor cousin to the traditional big media titles, but there are a few reasons why guest blogging is just as sexy.
First, let me explain the difference…
Traditional media like the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal – have a staff of journalists or approved freelance writers.
In order to get into those titles, you must approach the journalists and pitch your story idea. You CANNOT SUBMIT your own article.
I’m not going to lie… it can be a hard nut to crack if you haven’t done it before.
With guest blogging, you approach the media owner and submit YOUR ARTICLE.
If you’re new to getting press coverage, I recommend you begin with guest blogging.
It’s a bit easier to get your foot in the door when you’re starting out.
Need more convincing?
These reasons will get you shouting, “hell yeah, let’s do this!”
- Blogs have a highly targeted audience. Approaching ones in your niche means you’re talking directly to your ideal client.
- It can help build brand awareness because the content you post on other sites tells new audiences about you.
- Blogs are a great steppingstone to give you the confidence to pitch to the big boys – the traditional media.
- Nine times out of 10 they’ll include a link to your website or social media in your bio – SEO magic baby! Yessss!
Interested, but not sure where to start?
Here’s a quick shortcut to find sites to blog for.
Search Google for [topic keyword phrase] + “write for us”.
For example, my search would look like this… public relations “write for us”
You’ll find a ton of potential opportunities.
Choose a few that look right for you.
Strategy 4 – Get Interviewed on a Podcast
Much like guest posting, being interviewed on a podcast is a fantastic way to get featured.
People seem to fall into two camps…
If you love writing, then guest posting is the best place to start.
If you’re more of a talker and prefer getting your point across that way, then podcasts may be the way to go.
It’s wherever you feel most comfortable.
If podcasting is going to be your thang, where do you start?
Glad you asked!
Go to iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts and search for your topic.
You’ll get a ton of shows that come up.
Choose your top 3-5 and take a listen.
You’re listening for a couple of things…
First, you need to make sure you’re the right fit for them and secondly make sure they’re the right fit for you in terms of audience and themes.
Once you’ve chosen a couple, visit their website. Many times, they’ll have a section on how to apply to be a guest.
Follow their process and submit.
Remember to keep your pitch short and focused on how you can help their audience.
Strategy 5 – Connect with Journalists on Twitter
Are you on Twitter?
If not, why not?
Most journalists use this platform above all others to find stories.
Here are some interesting stats* that will make you run to Twitter quicker than I can say “newsflash”…
68% of journalists use Twitter to find stories and 74% of them use it to research stories.
Twitter is one of the best places to find and reach journalists who regularly write about your field.
Their bios include up to date information about the media they write for, their interests and topics.
By getting to know this, you can nurture a relationship with key influencers.
When you’re connecting with journalists, your focus should be on building relationships NOT contacts.
Find journalists who write about your area. Follow them, like, share and comment on their posts.
Help them out when they’re researching stories – even if it’s something you can’t personally help with, point them in the direction of someone who can.
Being genuinely helpful will go a long way when you’re ready to pitch your story to them.
Relationships are very powerful.
Who else is better to turn to than someone they’ve come to know, like and trust on social media?
Ok, that’s my 5 simple strategies to get you featured in the press.
Go forth and try them out!
Which one will you start with?
*Stats from Meltwater survey.