3 Steps to Get a Big Story in the Media
As a small business owner, you may think it’s impossible to get a big, feature story about your company in one of your favorite publications, especially if you don’t have the money to hire a publicist. And while a publicist has the skills to build buzz and cultivate relationships with the media, it is possible to score a major story on your own.
It’s a matter of setting aside some time and following these:
3 Steps to Get a Big Story in the Media On Your Own
1. Create a Unique Story.
As I’ve said in previous posts about PR, the key to getting the media’s attention is to develop a unique story specific to a media member’s interests. Instead of approaching hundreds of media members with a press release, create a story relevant to the one writer, editor, blogger, or producer you want to pursue. Your story needs to be new, unique to your business, and most important, help that particular media member provide valuable information to his or her readers.
2. Pitch and Keep Quiet!
When you are finished crafting your story, call the media member and give your pitch. Tell that person you created the story specifically for their publication and that they can have the exclusive on it within a certain time frame. This means they are the only ones who can announce the story first.
Provide all of the details and interviews they need to make the story a reality, and then wait. Do not start pitching the story to others. Otherwise, you could burn your relationship with that media member, and word will spread among journalists that you are not true to your word about exclusive stories.
3. Know When to Move On.
If you did your research and crafted a good story, your exclusive will probably be published by the media member you approached. If not, don’t worry. Many times, their stories are out of their control and based on advertiser needs, trends and current news.
Once you know that the media member you approached is not going to publish your story and the time frame you quoted has passed, you can tell other media members about your story, send out your press release or start over again with a new story specific to a different media member.
Media Members Like to Be First.
If you want to get a big story in a favorite venue, you’ve got to provide a specific media member with a unique story that has not been published. Journalists like to reveal breaking news, trends and data to their audience. And if you can provide this information, you greatly increase your chances of getting some good media-coverage.
Yes, it takes time and effort to create a unique story and pitch it. This is where the skills of a publicist come in handy. But if you can set aside a few hours to take care of this activity yourself, you may see a big story about your company in the media, and your return on investment will be well worth it.