Are the media still relevant? You bet, at least if you want credibility and reach a big audience. And if you do it right (i.e you give them an interesting story), it is essentially free. Having worked with the media for the past 20 years, let me share 4 tips on how to become unignorable in the media:
The most effective media outreach is targeted to publications in your field because their audience will already be interested in your key topic. These trade publications are read by the decision-makers in your industry; in other words, the influential people you are looking to target.
In order to create interest, you need a story that is made for the media. If you develop a story that can be boiled down to a single, intriguing sentence, you’re onto a winner. Journalists are under constant pressure to find stories that generate engagement. Your main goal is to make the journalist’s life as easy as possible: offer them a story that their audience will love, giving them maximum impact with minimal effort.
Select your key message and the most exciting aspects of your story. These are the things other people are going to really care about. Remember that this isn’t about selling a product or a service, it’s about telling a story that audiences can relate to. If people are interested in your story, they will want to find out more. Media coverage creates a first touchpoint, an opportunity for people to understand your values.
You should always identify the right person to get in touch with. Journalists are often cynical about being pitched to. You have to demonstrate that you have selected them specifically, rather than giving the impression that they are simply one name on a long list of many.
Here’s a little insider secret from 20 years of working in this field: spend your time researching the journalist, their style, their audience and their usual content. With this information in mind, refocus your story and draw out the specific points that would be perfect for their style and their audience. Effectively, hand them a story that they could run tomorrow without any extra effort.