How to increase media coverage for your brand
Every brand wants more positive mentions from the media, right? When a journalist endorses your product or service, it provides a third-party credibility you just can’t get in an advertisement.
When you’ve worked in public relations as long as I have, you learn a lot about how the media work, what they like to cover and what their readers and viewers like to consume. Here are a few tips to help you present the best possible, most interesting story to the media, and increase your chances they’ll want to cover your brand:
– Be a trend setter: Media outlets like to report on trends. If there’s a trend happening in your industry, and you have the qualifications to talk about it, speak up! Always be current on the national trends impacting your industry and business, and have some talking points ready to share with the media as news is breaking. If you connect with the media often enough with relevant trend details, they’ll come to know you as a trusted resource.
– Work fast: The news moves fast, and you have to move even faster to be considered a media resource. How fast depends on your industry and your audience. If you’re a financial services company talking about the housing market and you want to target CNBC’s morning talk shows – you have to be ready to go on air (or on satellite) at a moment’s notice (as in, you get a call at 4:30 a.m. to go on air at 5 a.m.). If you’re not available, the producer will quickly move down the resources list until he or she finds someone who is. Don’t miss an opportunity because you’re not ready. When it comes to media coverage, the early bird actually does get the worm.
– Be charismatic: Not only do you have to work fast to accommodate media requests, you have to be charismatic. Media outlets want to help share your story with the world. It’s your time to shine. And shine you must. The way you deliver your information has to be as compelling as the information itself. Know your facts, stay on message and deliver your information with panache. (If this is a weak point for you, consider investing in some media training – it will pay off in spades).
– Think in superlatives: Here are words media like to see in stories —
- Biggest (or largest)
- Most unique
- Never been done before
In order for your story idea to stand apart in a sea of story ideas, your information has to be more relevant, more unique, more interesting than everyone else’s. Having relevant research and data points to back up your opinion is also key. Contrary to what you might think, the news media works to report the facts, and needs vetted information from you to help do that.
If your organization isn’t keeping up with the trends, or isn’t constantly thinking ahead of the curve, please don’t expect front page coverage on the Wall Street Journal. Keeping up with the status quo doesn’t get you national news coverage. Being an expert in your field, an innovator with your organization and an interesting interview does.