1. Have a great story to tell. This is key. If you don’t have anything interesting for the media, why would they cover it? The skill in this is to identify the story idea and then work with people in the company to flush out the specifics and give it some personality to make it appetizing for the media.
2. Determine what tools you will need to communicate your story. Sure everyone needs a news release but what other tools will help sell your story? This could be a video, infographic, white paper or research that elevates your pitch and helps you stand out from the crowd. Visuals and graphics sell well with today’s audience.
3. Research your targeted media before sending anything out. It is wise to look at your targeted publications or TV stations and see if they run stories similar to those you are pitching. If your story idea is business oriented it will be difficult to sell it to a consumer related publication. Read and watch and see if you story idea makes sense for the media you are targeting.
4. Write well. You need to communicate your pitch in a news release or email. This needs to be done in simple, concise but interesting sentences. Busy journalists don’t have time to read elongated pitches and releases that don’t get to the point. Make sure you write in a style that sells your story or find someone who can.
5. Create a good email headline. Since most communication is done by email, you need to make your subject line interesting so it stands out from the crowd. Instead of “Man Finds Feast At Area Hamburger Restaurant” make it “Man Eats 12 Hamburgers in 5 Minutes Sets New Record-Has Great Story To Tell Why He Did It”
6. Create good talking points for the interviewee. Nothing is worse than having an unprepared interviewee whether it is a CEO or someone else in the organization. Determine what you wish to communicate in advance. Write them out and make sure the interviewee stays on point.
7. Rehearse and role play. Speaking to a reporter on the phone is one thing, doing a TV interview is another. It is good to rehearse in advance and do some role play with one person playing the interviewer. For TV, using a studio-like setting with a microphone and bright lights is always good training.
8. Dress appropriately. You are the “brand”. Dress how you want people to perceive your brand if you are going to be on TV or in a photograph for an article. A t-shirt and tattered jeans usually won’t cut it if you head a large company, or even a small one for that matter. You want viewers to have positive images of doing business with your firm.
9. Leverage your story or article and give it “legs”. One method for gaining additional media coverage from one story is to leverage it for another. For example when one of our clients was on the NBC Nightly News we contacted the local newspaper and told them about it. They had a local gossip type column and ran a story that our client was on network television.
10. Understand how to amplify your news on social media. You can reach thousands more by sending out your article or TV story on social media. You can link it to your corporate or personal sites. In many cases your followers and friends may like it and re-post it. This way you generate thousands of more views with just a little effort.
For more great PR ideas visit Solomon Turner PR