If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it – does it make a sound? Media coverage can either help your business to thrive or fail, so much rests on how you manage your company’s media profile. You might have a fantastic message, but if no one is listening it’s a thankless task trying to promote it. The challenge at hand is to tell the right story to the right people – at the right time. Once an opportunity of promotion is gone it’s tough to recapture it. Here are five tips to help make the most of the exposure you do have, and to expand beyond it.
Here’s the scenario – you’ve got some great news to share. It could be an innovative new product, a coup of a hire or a positive company initiative that will benefit consumers in some way. Before rushing off and publishing it all over the internet, ask yourself one question: “Why do people need to hear about this story – now?” It can be a good idea to map the year’s events in advance. That way you can figure out the best time to make the biggest splash with your news, and even think about linking your story to topical events happening elsewhere it he world. Making a pitch at the correct moment can be the difference between a hit and a flop. Think about a journalist’s deadlines and who they write for. Many monthly magazines work months in advance on features, meaning you need to be talking about your stories for Autumn in June.
Tell a compelling story
Let’s assume you’ve timed things perfectly – the next step is grabbing someone’s attention, without hyperbole or fanfare. The only goal is that they remember you afterwards. The first person you convince will be the journalist you ask to write about you – keep in mind these people are pitched stories up to twenty times a day, and are looking for something to engage a reader. If you haven’t worked out a great story to tell beforehand, you’re not going to convince a journalist you’re worth writing about.
Once your campaign is up and running, keep going. It’s simpler to sustain a PR campaign than it is to re-ignite one. Publish blogs, articles and news releases to cultivate an online presence (but don’t publish hot news on the website before taking it to the media. Once it’s on your website it’s no longer news). You can better optimise your SEO into the bargain, increasing your visibility. More media researchers will find your company when trawling for new contacts, helping build a network and boost your brand. Even when it feels as if no one is listening, maintaining your message solidifies your status.
Effective Use of Social Media
The mouthpiece of the 21st Century is vital in both generating and preserving better media coverage. It’s an effective method of reaching your market but beware the limitations of the platform you’re using. Don’t use Twitter to “cold-call” journalists with a pitch. Instead, try to identify the individuals you want to work with and build a relationship first (e.g. regularly read their work, share their stories, comment on their blogs). It can be instrumental in transforming your message. Not enough characters to be long-winded, your message has to be the white-hot core of what you want to say. It’s the only way it’ll catch on.
Keep a Reminder
When a successful marketing campaign is in full swing, make sure to preserve great media coverage. Keep an archive in a visible spot on your site and direct people to it. Scan print publications and upload them, or print them and put them up in your offices (ensure you have appropriate copyright licenses to clip and display media coverage). A physical reminder is just as good as an online one. It might be positive mentions of a product or service you no longer provide—that’s okay. The coverage acts as a reminder that you’re a top company. It’s proof of your triumphs.