How To Give Journalists What They Need – And Avoid Irritating Them

How To Give Journalists What They Need – And Avoid Irritating Them

A big part of the publicity game is attracting the attention of the media and persuading them to interview you. But what happens when you’ve been successful in getting the media to look your way, only to find yourself wide-eyed, nervous and murmuring, “What now?” Governors, mayors and assorted movie stars and athletes are accustomed to talking with reporters, so they generally know what to do and what not to do in such encounters. The average person doesn’t have the same track record, so when they finally land an interview they can unintentionally sabotage their relationship with the reporter before it gets off the ground. This comes from a mixture of not knowing the media rules of engagement and failing to understand that the interview is really about what the journalist wants – not what you want. For example, one no-no is to ask to see a reporter’s notes or finished article before the article is published. For a variety of reasons, most reporters won’t agree to such requests – and some of them will be downright insulted and irritated that you asked. So don’t! Here are a few other tips to help make the interview run more smoothly and to have the journalist singing your praises afterward: Don’t be late. Whether your interview is by phone or in person, be on time! Journalists are on tight deadlines and if you don’t show up on schedule you’re risking that they will move on to another source. Sure, you’re a busy person, too, but you don’t want to leave the journalist waiting. With any luck, you can build a relationship...
Want More Print Coverage? Offer Up Your Own Articles

Want More Print Coverage? Offer Up Your Own Articles

One often overlooked means of getting great publicity is to contribute articles you wrote yourself to publications. Not only does your published byline boost your visibility, it provides an excellent credential. While many of the major national publications don’t accept unsolicited articles, some do set aside space for contributor columns or accept guest columns on their op-ed pages. The New York Daily News and Newsmax, for instance, have published many articles written by our clients. In some cases, these articles have drawn the attention of other media, leading to more exposure for our clients. Smaller publications, trade magazines and online publications also may be good places for your articles to land. These publications often have small staffs, so they’re happy to get well-written articles that they don’t have to pay for. Your reward is the publicity you’ll receive because you’ll likely get a credit line that includes your website and email. To help get you started on the path to publication, here are some do’s and don’ts: Look for submission guidelines on the publication’s website – and follow them! Some publications post their rules for submitting unsolicited articles. They may outline the topics they’re interested in, minimum and/or maximum word counts, and the style. If you find guidelines, stick to them! The No. 1 mistake people make is going over the maximum word count. That will very likely get your article rejected. And, since editors often don’t tell you why they’re rejecting the article, the writer keeps repeating the mistake. Pitch your ideas before writing a full article.  While with some publications you can submit a full article, you can save...
Seeing Your PR Campaign In 4-D

Seeing Your PR Campaign In 4-D

With movies such as “Logan,” “Alien: Covenant” and many others being filmed in 3-D these days, I started thinking about how a good PR campaign also has its own 3-D elements. Although since there are four types of media outlets – TV, radio, social media and print (offline and online) – what you really need is a 4-D strategy. (Yes, I’m sure those brilliant physicists Sheldon and Leonard from TV’s “Big Bang Theory” would take issue with my science.) In PR, unlike movies, 4-D is the only way to go. I mention this because people frequently ask me which of those four media options is better.  I try to explain that each is effective in its own right. But since the media feeds off itself, the most effective PR campaign will include using all elements in a strategy that leverages a 4-dimensional approach. Here are some ways the different elements of a 4-dimensional PR campaign fit together: Print/Online – I put print and online in the same category because they both encompass written articles, and just about everything that appears in print is repurposed online. That means written articles have a dual impact. Most importantly, every article or column that includes a mention of you, your book or your company eventually will appear online, meaning you’re just a Google search away from potential customers or clients. Also, an enterprising TV producer or radio show host who’s interested in interviewing you can find those articles, and that can help confirm for them that you’re a credible expert in your field. Those articles also are great fodder for social networks. Being...
The Right – And Wrong – Times To Take Advantage Of News To Promote Your Brand

The Right – And Wrong – Times To Take Advantage Of News To Promote Your Brand

One of the things I encourage people to do – and which we at EMSI regularly do on behalf of our clients – is to tie their message to what’s happening in the news or what’s trending on social media. It’s a great strategy for promoting your personal or business brand and under the right circumstances can work extremely well. For example, if you’re a CPA, you could offer tips on how to take advantage of a new change in the tax code. A doctor could discuss a just-released study about the most effective ways for treating migraines. Such situations can make you and your message invaluable to the media, opening doors for potentially longstanding relationships with reporters, editors and producers. But with that said, I also think it prudent to warn you that not all news situations are equal. There are times when it might be better to back off from what’s topical, such as during a national tragedy, a serious social issue or a particularly intense political season like the one we’ve just experienced. In fact, USA Today just published an article about how some people are taking a break from Facebook because their nerves are frayed and their tempers are short from all the political bickering. You want to be careful about getting caught up in the backlash from moments like that. With that said, let me offer a few points to keep in mind as you ponder when to pounce on the news – and when to lay low: Beware the ease of social media. One of the great things about using social media as...
Discounting The Value Of Digital Publications – Get With The Times

Discounting The Value Of Digital Publications – Get With The Times

Something I still hear from many clients is they’re excited about appearing in the traditional print version of a publication, but they’re not quite as thrilled about articles that appear online. Perhaps their reaction is only natural. Most of us grew up with traditional print playing a role in our lives. The local newspaper printed a photo of your Little League baseball team or your piano recital, and your mother proudly clipped it out and displayed it on the refrigerator or tucked it into a scrapbook. Traditional print can seem so much more substantial because you hold it in your hands. It has heft. It has texture. But it’s long past time to come into the 21st century and understand that, while appearing in the printed version of a newspaper or magazine is wonderful, it’s far more wonderful to appear online. Why? The majority of publications today reach significantly more people online than they do with the hard copy. For example, USA Today has a weekday circulation of 1.08 million, but online has 24 million unique visitors per month (VPM). New York Daily News has a circulation of 300,000 with 40 million VPM. And, Chicago Tribune’s circulation is 300,000 with 18.7 million VPM. That’s a lot of eyes that could come across an article, and this wouldn’t have been possible back in the days when traditional print was the only game in town. Beyond the incredible reach, let me give you just a few other reasons why online print coverage is more valuable than you may realize: It’s easier to share. Remember Mom and that Little League picture? She...
3 Ways To Make Journalists Happy and Promote Your Brand At The Same Time

3 Ways To Make Journalists Happy and Promote Your Brand At The Same Time

We always like to share good news with each other here at EMSI, so I was overjoyed to hear that another one of our clients – a financial professional – has been having a stellar print campaign. But his situation also got me to thinking. What’s been the key to his success and is there a lesson there for others trying to land print coverage? After all, he doesn’t have a large firm and he’s in the middle of the Heartland. There’s no particular reason, at least on the surface, for the media to latch onto him. Yet among the many print or online publications that we have arranged for him to be interviewed by are the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Investors Business Daily and Yahoo Finance. So I asked Toni Tantlinger, one of our print campaign managers, whether she had any ideas about why his campaign took off the way it did. Without any hesitation, Toni gave me three excellent reasons that others could do well to emulate: He makes himself available. Journalists are on deadlines and it’s common for them to need to interview someone today – not a week from Tuesday. If you can’t fit their interview request into your schedule, they’ll track down someone else who can. This client understands that and makes those media calls a priority. He’ll duck out of a meeting, reschedule an appointment or do whatever is necessary to meet the media’s needs. He’s willing to tread outside his comfort zone. Sometimes clients have a specific niche within their expertise and they want to stay there. They...