4 Ways to Get Media Exposure Without Pitching
How to Get Media Exposure Without a Direct Pitch
Consider that you handle media relations for your company and your company has asked you to pitch a story to the press in hopes of gaining some media exposure. In most cases, after a PR professional writes a press release or crafts a pitch for a story, he will send it to all the journalists in his contact list, as well as putting in on the traditional newswires, hoping that someone will find the story interesting enough to run with. Often, they will even “cold call” journalists to try and entice them into writing a story on the company, brand, person or product.Sure, pitching stories is a large part of media relations, but relationship building can actually be a much better way of ensuring the stories you pitch don’t fall on deaf ears.
Undertake Media Relations, Not Media Blasting
Many PR and media relations professionals send their messages as far and wide as possible, casting a huge net in hopes of catching a lead or two. The idea seems to be that this will give them a better chance of placement.This technique is called media blasting – throwing a number of darts and for a better chance at hitting the bull’s-eye.
What you really need to be undertaking is media relations. In the realm of business, the word relations implies establishing and/or preserving an existing connection, one that can be mutually beneficial, if properly maintained.
Here are a few tactics that will help you place your story, which do not involve media blasting.
Reposition the Conversation
One of the complaints so often uttered about PR professionals is that they have a tendency to approach a pitch with, “here is what I have to say about this” vs. “I hope this piece of information may be of use to you”. This comes off as a very self-serving approach and is likely to ruffle the feathers of more than a few journalists. Take the latter path and show that you genuinely care about the journalist and are interested in offering them assistance, as well as an opportunity for a great story.
Reverse Roles – Interview the Journalist
As an experiment in role reversal, rather than expecting the journalist to interview you, try interviewing him instead. A brand is in itself a media organization, so to speak, and many brands have a wide reach and significant impact on large audiences. Consider interviewing journalists for your company blog, podcast or video series. Apart from giving the them some welcome visibility, it will also give you insights into how the market is working and help you foster better relationships.
Promote Their Work on Social Media
Many PR professional are already following selected journalists on various social media platforms. Instead of trying to promote your work to them, try promoting theirs for a change. This gives will give them better exposure and grow their audience, which they will most certainly appreciate.
Journalists have a difficult job nowadays. Deadlines have become much tighter, competition stiffer and resources are typically limited. Oftentimes, journalists are rewarded according to the number of page views that their story is able to generate, so the wider the reach, the better for them.
Have Online Resources at the Ready
In the PR world, you have to make it both quick and easy for the media to place your story. You cannot pitch a story to a reporter and expect the third party to dig up the details by themselves. You can and MUST help them to be more efficient. Set up an online media press room that contains fact-sheets, pictures, videos, backgrounders and any other relevant information that will make the journalists’ job simpler. By making it easier for them to find all the details necessary to write your story you will, in turn, make your media relations department more successful at disseminating the information you want to publicize.
If you follow these steps, pitching stories will become a more organic part of your relationship with journalists, and the media in general.