We all know that distribution and media placement has a huge impact on how a consumer perceives a piece of content. However, as PR professionals, we often forget to consider all that is wrapped in the message we send when approaching a journalist to get the placement. And I’m not talking about the pitch.
Here’s how to do it:
The secret to attracting media coverage lies in the approach you take when you’re trying to make a media connection. When approaching a media outlet, first contact a single journalist through social media before you make a request or pitch for the first time. Consider sharing some of the journalist's or media outlet's content or following them.
Twitter and Google+ are both great for connecting with journalists. For example, both allow you to “pull” people to follow you by following them first. If they follow you on either of these platforms, your updates will not only appear in their streams, but you will also begin the process of packaging your message as more genuine and make building the relationship much easier.
Once you’ve connected with a journalist, consider what else would help catch his attention. For example, if he's a millennial technophile, pitching with a video seems like a great way for a PR professional to stand out. Video is also more personal because he will be able to see you, which makes the outreach more authentic. In addition, remember to start the video with a conversation to continue the relationship development and message you’re sending. Vsnap.com works great for this.
After you plan how to catch a journalist's attention, it's also important to determine how to help her operate more efficiently with her limited time. Perhaps spend time on Reddit looking for a popular topic related to that specific media outlet and contact. Back up your pitch by sharing the Reddit link and talking about how popular or successful it was. This will help her operate more quickly because she can plainly see that the topic is trending. In addition, you are sending a message that says you care about her time and understand that she's busy.
Next, consider what could be given to him so that he can produce a compelling story. Quotations are great because journalists are used to writing around them, which makes their process more efficient. Journalists often use quotes from interviews to add expert advice or an influencing opinion, but interviews aren’t easy when time is limited.
As you continue to strive for highly relevant content on highly relevant placements, it is important to package the complete message to journalists. In addition to helping a journalist operate more efficiently and giving her what she needs for a compelling story, a packaged message that connects you and your brand with that journalist will get you noticed. When these secrets are put into practice and insights are gleaned from these practices, journalists will be more open to future media coverage of your content.
And it will become more apparent that the challenge with media coverage isn’t just securing the coverage and influencing the consumer’s perspective of the content and placement. The challenge is packaging the message as being helpful to the journalist.
How do you package your message when approaching media coverage?