Adopt a journalist
How to get noticed by the media.
The media has proven to be one of the strongest and plausible forms of advertising of our time. This article will help you find the best media to get your story and business acknowledged. Standby to develop your media relations management skills.
How do journalists work?
A well-written press release is still one of the most effective communication tools. Journalists, these days, have little time to go out and seek newsworthy stories. The commercial pressure on the media owners leaves them with no choice, but to focus on the most popular headlines only. Which means that if you are looking for media coverage for your small business writing a press release it’s worth the try. You need two things:
- The right media
- The skill to write effectively
Let’s look at some different media types and how each could benefit you.
How to choose the right media?
- Parish magazines – ideal for local retail businesses. They are usually produced by non-professionals and are desperate for good material.
- Local weekly newspapers – they are often opened for product-related competitions and may even give you a free editorial.
- Professional network newspapers – same as the parish magazines, they are usually eager to accept a fresh copy, that can benefit their members’ professional development. You can even offer yourself as a speaker on their events.
- Regional dailies – usually focused on printing mostly positive stories and avoid those who can jeopardise their advertising revenue.
- Specialist magazines – is you sell to a specific sector, there is 99% chance that there is a magazine for that business interest. If you find it, you won’t need to look for other media.
- Business journals – again focusing on mostly positive stories, these journals behave the same way as the regional newspapers.
- Local radio and TV – they are usually happy to print good stories and you can even find yourself invited for a live interview.
- National daily newspapers – they are usually overloaded with press releases, due to their big editorial teams. Being published by them requires great writing skills and mostly luck.
- National Sundays – they frequently give out sections to writers, who are easier to influence but work mostly like the National dailies.
- Mass-market magazines- focused on their niche, but behaving like the National newspapers.
- National TV- find the producing companies. They work similarly to the local TV.
- Media websites – as you probably know, the use of news related websites has increased significantly in the last years. All of the above have their own media websites.
Before you choose where to promote yourself, make sure that the chosen media:
- Shares your target audience;
- It’s trusted and read by your existing customers;
- It’s informative and enjoyable;
- Carries advertising from your competitors.
Remember how stressful the journalists’ job is. To be successful they are facing many challenges on a daily basis, making snap decisions, and have to react quickly in order to grab the good stories. They have deadlines which add even more pressure on their work. Daily newspapers, for example, have several deadlines a day. So, be sure you’ve done good research on the chosen media and don’t add more pressure on them unless your story is time-critical. Make it easy for them.
Finally, it will be extremely helpful for you if you develop good relations with a journalist or editor. Remember that sometimes, they need people like you as well as you need them. Make sure your press release is well-written, has a professional-looking photograph that relates to the title and a killer headline. Many journalists will look no further than the headline and the first paragraph in the decision making process. Which means that every word, including any subsequent paragraphs, should really add value! This is another reason to become a friend of a journalist, so they’ll give you a bigger chance of approval.
If writing isn’t your strength, you can always hire a copywriter to write your story, just by providing little information and 1-2 photographs. These professionals are great with playing with words and know exactly what to say and how to say it to influence the readers. Make sure you know exactly what you want your target audience to know and what action you want to provoke. The copywriter will do the rest.
Written by Darina Kostadinova