Once upon a time the best way to get into the print media was to issue a press release. Then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and editors across the world had to deal with more and more ‘press releases’.
The editor’s criteria when assessing content for publication is ‘Will my readers be interested in this?’ If the answer is ‘No’, your press release will be ‘spiked’ (journalist’s jargon for dumped!)
With the best will in the world, most companies find it challenging to come up with a news item once a month. What a company owner or MD finds exciting is almost certainly not of much interest to the general public.
So how do you carve out a high profile in the media?
Pick your publication carefully
Choose the publications that you know your target audience actually reads. If you’re trying to influence accountants, getting an article into Accountancy Age will be much more effective than an article in your local weekly newspaper or even one of the national dailies.
A publication where almost all the readers are the people you want to reach, even with a relatively low distribution, will always work better than a publication where the demographic of the readers is very broad, even if the distribution figures are phenomenal.
Stop thinking ‘news’
Fabricating news stories probably means that you have a very small chance of getting published. Instead think about becoming a thought-leader and sharing your take on your area of specialism or asking your chosen publication’s editor if a profile might be interesting to their readers.
With this kind of approach you’ll need to create a headline and a one line summary for the article and find out if it would be of interest. While that’s more time-consuming than just writing a one-page press release, it will give you a much higher chance of getting published, as, once the editor has agreed, they’ll almost certainly publish what you send in.
Don’t forget broadcast media
People often overlook the broadcast media – local radio, digital TV channels and the rapidly growing numbers of podcasts. Then there are the YouTube influencers too. Don’t stop at the print media (most of which are online too these days).
Local radio stations are often looking for guests so get in touch with the producer of the show and find out if there’s a good fit.
The right podcasts are a great way to get in touch with a highly focused audience. Be clear about what the podcast host is looking for, before you agree to be a guest.
Find YouTube channels that feature guests and are aimed at the audience you want to reach and get in touch.
As the saying goes – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Most media will expect you to share the article/broadcast on your social media so make sure you do that and they’ll be happy to have you again.