10 Ways to get strong media coverage for your brand
By Nicole Reaney, Director, InsideOut Public Relations
We recently worked on a PR campaign for Professional Bull Riders (PBR), and were able to secure major coverage for them – from Weekend Sunrise and The Morning Show, through to Nine News, The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Sun Herald and Sydney Morning Herald – among many more. This editorial coverage has had a direct impact on awareness, influence and leads with the Finals being it’s highest ever ticket sales. While at another end of the spectrum, we worked on an aged care campaign generating coverage on Mornings, A Current Affair, Sunday Telegraph with more on its way. Two polar opposites in industry – yet both attracting major news.
While PR is not just about media publicity, it’s still the single driver for clients wishing to generate exposure for their brands. So how do you generate coverage?
- The EST factor
The single most important starting point of any media campaign is what’s your EST factor. What makes news is generally the biggest, newest, fastest, smallest… you get the idea. Let’s face it, while a new chocolate bar might be the most important product you’ve invented, but when was the last time 60 minutes ran a feature on cherry chocolate bars?
Develop a target media list, and here’s where your PR agency comes good. There’s no point delivering your pitch to the thousands of media outlets available in the country, and crossing fingers and toes. Know which journalists cover what stories and what media outlets will be most relevant. Here’s where I feel sorry for the property writer of the AFR who receives the chocolate bar media release, followed up sweetly by a ‘did you get my media release’ call.
- Tailored approach
Consider tailoring your pitch or release to different writers and media outlets. A single-mass send out is less likely to get in front of the journalists that matter most. On its own the launch of a chocolate bar is not newsworthy enough, but if that chocolate bar shedded kilos or made you smarter than your reach of relevant media starts to widen.
- Know the media
The more specific you can be when pitching to media, for instance by knowing the reporter’s past stories or features, will set you up for great success when pitching to the journalist.
Once a media outlet is interested, it can be a matter of hours before the interview or photo happens and you need to work fast. Don’t be that PR who can’t get the spokesperson or case study available in time. The easier you make the journalist’s job, the greater your chance of successful coverage and a future relationship.=
Reporters receive hundreds of emails a day, and work on an average of 16 stories simultaneously. While the news matter may be big news to you, you need to simplify your pitch and be able to explain in 10-20 seconds – more than that and you’ve lost the interest and potential coverage. Even the most complex subjects can be broken down into a single news bite, and it needs to, to make the 6 o’clock news.
Here’s where many entrepreneurs get it wrong. Just because you’re the CEO, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily the best spokesperson for your organisation. Media is brutal and they look for certain ‘talent’ when producing or writing features. TV and Radio more selective than print. So if you’re not seen as ‘good talent’ than you can kiss the news story goodbye.
Securing media coverage requires a certain ‘personality’ and a level of persuasion. We don’t call it a pitch for nothing. If you don’t quite have that confidence, or hate knock-backs, than you’re better to leave the media relations to a PR expert.
Running a media campaign is high adrenaline, and fast. You need to be able to manage multiple conversations and communications at top speed. A sure fire way to lose a media opportunity is slow communication or obviously ‘looking up’ that journalist when they call.
Be smart about your campaign, from timing through to outlets and angles. Know your topic inside out, and ensure you start with a media strategy well before you start speaking to media.
No matter how long I’ve been in the industry, the single most satisfying part of our job is seeing strong coverage appear for our clients, and importantly, seeing that coverage translate into leads. It’s a rollercoaster of stress, energy, disappointment, excitement and …we wouldn’t change it for the world!