As a former news anchor/reporter I always get asked a lot of questions about how to get media coverage. This Friday I will be helping entrepreneurs at The Urban Rebound Business Conference at the Skirball Center. There’s still time to register. The conference inspired me to share some media training tips from my workshops and coaching.
You’ve worked hard to build your company and your brand, but how do you get the “buzz” you need to propel your business to the next level? And how do you make sure the “buzz” is promoting the right message?
Whether you get news coverage depends on how you pitch your story. While there is no one right way to convey your message, there are ways to help make sure you are heard.
- Make sure you have the right contact. You don’t want to leave a message on a general voicemail box. Find someone you can pitch. It can be a reporter, an assignment editor, or a producer.
- Find out how your contact likes to receive a pitch. Do they prefer contact by phone, e-mail, or fax? Sometimes a story pitch can get lost in the shuffle, if it is not delivered the right way.
- Know your hook. Create a tie-in with your service or product with a newsworthy story. Ask yourself, why would anyone care about the story? What makes the story interesting? Why would a producer/editor want this story in their show or column? Find a legitimate connection to a hot topic and you can increase your chances of getting coverage.
- Provide resources. Make the reporter’s/producer’s job easy. It’s not enough to give a story idea; you also need to help the them tell the story. Offer to supply the reporter with background information, interviews, sources, video/photo opportunities.
- Know the right time and show to pitch. What type of story is it? Who does it appeal to? A light feature may do better on the weekends when the media outlet is short on stories. Harder news stories are for the evening news. Mid-day news may be good for health, senior, and women’s issues. Morning News is good for live interviews.