After working in your industry for a few years, you are bound to have some wonderful secrets that others in your industry would love to know. So, how do you reach out to them?
A highly effective way to reach many people at once is to incorporate the help of the media. There are several ways to reach out to the media, and working all angles will help get your name out there. And if you’re lucky (and persistent), you will start getting mentioned!
The most traditional and quickest way to get your message to the media is to hire a Public Relations professional. While we’re all capable of researching the names of reporters, editors and freelance writers, a skilled PR pro has a database filled with contacts with whom he or she has worked in the past, and should be able to successfully cold pitch journalists and make those introductions for you. Your PR pro should be able to identify compelling story angles that will attract writers and editors so that you don’t get stuck amongst the hundreds or thousands of other pitches that they receive on a daily basis.
Public Relations professionals can be expensive, however. Be sure to shop around for one who is an expert in your industry, knows both traditional and social media, and who has a proven track record. Ask to see coverage clips of their work and ask for references, and be sure to ask questions about performance surrounding your top three goals for public relations (I will address public relations goals in a future post).
If you prefer to tackle your media efforts on your own, here are some tips to help get you noticed:
1. Write a thought-provoking blog. Not only do some writers search the Internet for story ideas, but if you pitch a story to a writer, it’s handy to have good blog posts that support the notion that you are an expert.
2. Read news stories and blogs on relevant issues and make comments. This is a great way to network with people who are knowledgeable and trendsetting in your industry.
3. Tweet and post on Facebook. This is another great way to get noticed by reporters who are searching for story ideas. Make sure that your followers and those you follow are an appropriate, targeted audience.
4. Join a mailing list like HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Three times a day, you will get requests from journalists all over the country who are looking for content for their stories. Reporter Connection is a similar service.
5. Once you’re quoted, promote the article and stay in touch with the writer. After you’ve proven to be a helpful resource, reporters will come back to you again and again.
If you want to submit queries for feature stories, check the editorial calendars from your favorite publications so that you can write a story in line with the magazine’s requested content. Find out the requirements for publishing articles and follow those requirements when writing your article. Finally, obtain high-quality, detailed photos that the publication can use with the article, making sure you get a signed release from the photographer to use them.
What are your secrets for gaining publicity and/or getting published? What have you found difficult when trying to reach out to writers? I’d love to know! Share your thoughts with me here.