I just got off a call with reporters that gave some great insights in how to get media coverage for a business. Ideally you’ll get stories both off and online.
Reporters use the Internet to find and develop stories, if you’re a PR firm looking to get your clients noticed, your first focus should be online. “I don’t know how I did my job without the Internet” claimed one journalist.
The Internet is how you reach reporters. Start with email, get onto blogs, and invest in SEO.
What’s DEAD in PR:
- Press releases – most journalists don’t read them.
- Inviting reporters to lunch, for coffee, your event, or to meet you in person. They’re too busy.
- Calling reporters to check to see if they got your pitch or have any questions. It drives them crazy and they won’t respond. They’ll call you if they’re interested.
- Sending press kits, spiffs, or other free things in the mail. Most end up with the doorman or in the trash.
- Sending pictures with an email pitch. They take up too much room, if they cover the story they’ll ask for pictures or their staff will take some.
What’s HOT in PR:
- Getting stories from blogs. Reporters read blogs to get story ideas. Most of the time it’s easier to get on a blog than reach a journalist.
- Getting your story into search engines. Reporters use search engines ALL THE TIME. So if you come up high on the page of results, you’re more likely to get covered. SEO is money well-spent.
- Personalized email pitches. Put the angle in the subject line and get right to the point. Show that you’ve done some homework and know what the reporter covers. Email is probably the best way to reach a reporter after you’ve identified which ones cover your topic.
- Stories about how the economy is directly affecting your business. This will probably be hot for at least a year. How is the economy changing your behavior, affecting your customers, etc.
So forget all the work and money you’ve put into press kits, press releases (except online PR which can help your SEO), and exclusive events. Get to know the blogosphere and talk to OrangeSoda about doing SEO for your clients!
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