It’s easy for a story to get lost in the constant firehose of headlines being generated in today’s “24-7 and right now” media cycles. Trying to get the attention of a specific media outlet can feel impossible, and trying to get your narrative out the way you want it can be a real battle… or at least feel like one.

Getting the word out about your brand doesn’t need to feel or to be impossible. There are still a few simple steps you can take to do well with your media contacts to get your message out through the right channels to the right people at the precise time it will do your brand the most good.

Learn What You Don’t Know

There is an ever-changing sea of names and brands and outlets looking for stories, and they may be looking for your story… but you won’t know that unless you know them. And I don’t mean you met at a party and exchanged business cards. You need to do your research. Get to know all the media outlets that could offer maximum exposure for your brand.

Learn what industries they work in and what businesses and brands they like to support. Research the kinds of stories they like to run, and which reporters tend to get which stories. If you have a story similar to one that a certain reporter always gets a hit with, it certainly would pay off to know that, right?

Look for reporters, writers, and content distributors that share similar perspectives on what you’re all about, then build on that affinity by learning more about them: what they do and why they do it. The more information you have, the better you will understand your market… and theirs.

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Perfect Your Pitch

The key is to grab interest then follow through with a worthwhile story that helps them accomplish their goals. Every news provider everywhere has space to fill, and they are looking for a specific sort of news item to fill that space. If you give it to them, they will remember. Do that a few times, and reporters will begin to look for your name in their inbox.

When you’re making your pitch — especially the first pitch — there are a few guidelines to follow. First, it’s best to already have a relationship with that journalist. It’s not absolutely necessary, but if you did your homework in step 1 correctly, you should be prepared. Next, keep it short, specific, and simple. Don’t try to write the story for them. Try to interest them in the story. Reporters are curious by nature, but they’re also adept at quickly determining what they aren’t interested in. Let them know why your story is relevant to them and, more importantly, to their audience. But don’t just “say” that… Give them a good reasons so they know you’ve thought about it.

Follow Up

Clicking “send” on what you think is the ideal pitch isn’t “getting it done.” You need to follow up. It’s your responsibility to ignite the conversation and keep it going, not theirs. They have an inbox of people trying to send them perfect pitches. Be the polite, but squeaky, wheel. Just remember, don’t make it about “you,” make it about how the story will connect with their readers. When you have that mindset, it’s much easier to get out of your own way and avoid some of the mistake people making communicating with the media.

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5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian, Founder of 5W Public Relations.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.