Attention from the media is about a lot more than writing a press release or an email pitch and then blasting it out. It takes thoughtful planning and execution. Here are some guidelines:
• Don’t contact anyone and everyone on your media lists. Instead, zero in on the specific media you think will be most interested in your news. To do that, take into account whether your news is local, state-wide or national in nature and identify the particular audiences most likely to be interested in it. Those audiences might include for example, affluent consumers, small business owners, retirees, women, doctors, and so on.
• Once you’ve pulled together a preliminary list of media to target, fine tune it. Checking out what the journalists on that list have written about in the recent past as well as their writing styles and the kinds of guests the radio shows on the list tend to book. All of this information is readily available online.
• Tailor your pitch to each of the journalists and producers on your final list. To do that, ask yourself which aspects of what you are publicizing each individual is most apt to find interesting.
• Keep your pitches short and to the point. Also lead off each one with your most important information because the recipients may not read your email from start to finish.
• Avoid hype. It’s a turn off and will undermine your message.
• Steer clear of generic, vague and boring subject lines. Remember, members of the media receive many, many emails every day. So if you want your message to stand out, grab their attention with subject lines that speak directly to their interests and that signal clearly what you are offering.
• Before you even begin contacting the media, know who within your company will talk to them. Choose someone with a good grasp of what you are publicizing, who is articulate and who is comfortable fielding questions from the media.
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