Once you’ve done all the hard work to launch your amazing product or service, it’s time to get the word out. If you’re like most people you probably already have a basic marketing list written up that includes the usual things like using social channels and paid media for spreading the word, attending industry events and hiring a PR firm. The trouble with this is that your list is very similar to the list most other businesses would put together. In other words, your business, regardless of how great it may be, is just not going to stand out from the crowd of others if you don’t take things to the next level and land some good press coverage. Don’t think for a second that journalists haven’t seen their fair share of “game-changing” and “earth-shattering” pitches coming from business owners attempting to get meaningful media exposure.
So how do you go about getting that much-needed exposure you need to succeed? Just follow these three tips and you’ll stand a much better chance of grabbing the attention you need from prominent journalists and bloggers.
Decide Who to Pitch To
It’s important to realize that most journalists and bloggers specialize in certain areas wherein they write about specific types of stories. It would make no sense whatsoever for a tech startup to pitch to a journalist who mainly writes about home and gardening topics. Surprisingly, many business owners reach out to anyone and everyone without even considering which are the best people to target.
One way to find journalists to contact is to take a few publications you’d like to be featured in and search those websites for keywords related to your industry. Once you locate relevant articles, follow the writers on social media to find out if they still cover similar topics. You can do the same thing with a Google Alert by choosing your keywords and then getting a list of articles from across the web penned by writers who may be interested in you.
Take a Personal Approach
Once you have your targeted writers singled out, reach out to them via email and let them know you’ve read their work. Journalists are like everybody else – they respond well when shown a little personal attention. Plus, taking a personal approach before going into your pitch shows some thoughtfulness and respect on your part which always pays off. Because journalists receive hundreds of emails daily, come up with a killer title that demands attention to help ensure your email is opened and read.
Every good journalist is motivated by content exclusivity. By letting a writer know that you’ll make your story available to only them, there’s a good chance they’ll “bite”. If you do decide to take this approach, you’ll have to put off contacting other journalists as a promise is a promise. You don’t want to ruin your own credibility by reneging on the promise of exclusivity so decide which person would best benefit you and then offer them the opportunity to be the first to write about your business.
Pitch a Compelling Story
Journalists hear pitches daily so if you plan on throwing a generic snooze-worthy pitch, you’ll be wasting your time and theirs. The best way to get someone to consider writing about your business is to pitch a story instead of just asking them to write about your business. Readers find stories much more interesting than dull business information plus stories connect with people emotionally. Do you have a unique mission or innovative vision? Is your background interesting and newsworthy? Did someone famous inspire you? The point being is that you should take the time to craft a unique, compelling story that shows how your business is different and worth writing about. Surely you have something to share that stands out so focus on that and not on what you’re selling.
Another great way to get a writer interested is to entice them with free samples or trials of what it is you’re selling. When you contact your targeted journalists, ask them if they would be wiling to do a product review. Offer them a free trial or sample to try. You’re likely to get a few takers this way as everyone loves getting things for free including journalists and bloggers.