Part One By Heidi Richards Mooney

Here are EIGHT tips to help you turn that frustration into satisfaction and raise your chances of getting the coverage you work so hard to get:

1.       Make it easy for journalists to cover your story.  Media professionals are often on a deadline and the easier you make their job, the more likely they are to return the favor by giving you exposure. 

2.       Do what your competition doesn’t. Most businesses just send a media release, cross their fingers and hope someone will pick it up and write about it.  Go beyond that by creating more value.  For example you could write a tip sheet to go with the release or even a list of Frequently Asked Questions (include brief answers, and leave just enough to whet their appetite and want to know more).  The whole point of getting the media to pick up the phone and call you … for the rest of the story.

3.       A picture is worth a thousand words – If you mail a release, include a photo – if you email it, include a link to photos.  A photo can tell the part of the story words alone cannot.

4.       Have a media page on your website devoted to information the media would be interested in such as other coverage you have received, current and past news releases, audio interviews, Q & A, photos and more.

5.       Contact magazines in your topic or interest area and see if they allow “outside contributions” from experts.  Ask about writer guidelines, deadlines, editorial calendars, etc. And be sure and send something! The first time I did this, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I had no idea how to write a good article, but I did have marketing expertise.  The editor loved the ideas in my article and edited it to fit their needs (pretty much rewriting the article). Since then I have learned what they like and don’t like and have written for them on several occasions.

6.       Put your ego aside and be willing to learn. I believe the reason my very first article was even accepted was because of my willingness to learn their needs and take the advice the editor gave me.  Since then I have written articles for hundreds of magazines, newspapers and newsletters. 

7.       Be professional. I mentioned that the first article I wrote was rewritten. The article was grammatically correct, however, the thoughts did not flow well, until it was rewritten.

8.       Make sure you are targeting the appropriate audience. Don’t do what I have done; write just for the sake of writing. While it’s good to hone the skill, it isn’t good for building relationships. You don’t want to waste the time of the journalists you are targeting by sending them things that don’t fit their needs or their target audience. Get to know the media you plan to target. Find out what they want and need most and fill that need.  If you don’t know, ask them.

Check out Heidi’s  special report: How to Increase Your Odds of Media Success

Need some ideas to kick-start your marketing efforts. Check out Quirky Marketing Calendar ~ How to Use Zany and Non-traditional Holidays to Promote Your Business 365 Days a Year!