Making a Connection
Easier said than done, but making a personal connection with media representatives is more likely to get your press release noticed when you issue it. Once you’ve done your homework in researching who might be the relevant media influencers that could broadcast your message further than your immediate network, find ways to connect with them. It might start with a Twitter follow and/or a Facebook like. It might be an invitation for coffee or an introductory call or email. Sharing their content (with relevant credit/hashtags) demonstrates a respect of their work and connected interests.
Speaking their Language
Yes, issuing press releases is still ‘a thing’! Make sure that your press release is in a format that makes it accessible and communicates the relevant information as succinctly and clearly as possible, as well as providing contact details and access to further background information. Consider why readers of this media channel might find it interesting? Make it easy to publish – many media representatives are seriously time poor, so if its ‘print ready’ written like a reporter would write it, it’s an easy sell. Include memorable and personal quotes where possible – humanise your press release and give it an identity. Where possible, attach a link to a selection of relevant images they might like to include. Where you are sending the press release to a key publication, make sure you’re sending a tailored version, and follow up with a personal call.
Do you have a blog on your website? Do you publish pieces on a regular basis which could be considered as thought leadership articles? Good reporters will do their homework, they will check out all of your channels to check that the press release they are considering publishing comes from a reliable source. Reinforce that message and realise that you are your own publisher in those spaces and you never know what can be picked up organically and shared through others networks.
Wherever possible, it’s always beneficial to find where you can issue press releases with others. These partnerships can add value to the other through simple acts of sharing on social media and build on the others authority and audience engagement.
Get out there!
Whether you are hosting or participating, being out at events generates newsworthy content and attracts attention. If you are hosting the event make sure that you mention people with their twitter handles on social media and use a hashtag which you promote to the audience. Gaining attention on social through them liking and sharing is an easy win! Inviting media representatives/press to events will often contribute to a more meaningful relationship. And if you aren’t on Social Media, get out there too! It’s a really useful tool in reaching influencers and gaining visibility. But don’t just take our word for it. Try a wide range of tactics for gaining media attention and record and report on what works for you so you know where to focus your efforts next time (although there is of course no guaranteed formula for successful media engagement!).