Grabbing the media’s attention isn’t always easy.
Each day, reporters, editors, TV producers and radio show hosts scroll through a never-ending barrage of email messages, many of which they no doubt delete without even bothering to read.
Let’s face it, they couldn’t write about or report on all those topics even if they wanted to! Time just doesn’t allow it.
With competition for the media’s attention so fierce, how do you separate yourself from the pack and land an interview that will help build your credibility as a go-to expert in your field?
I’d love to be able to reveal to you a super-secret strategy that will work every time, all the time! Sadly, that’s not the case. Sometimes you just have to get inventive, allowing those creative juices to flow as you brainstorm alone or with others about pitches that might resonate with a show host or article angles that will intrigue an editor.
That’s what we do each day at EMSI. Sometimes those pitches and angles come easily – and we’re excited as we put them into action! Sometimes they don’t percolate so quickly – and in those cases we are even more excited when the right approach finally comes to us!
There’s nothing like that PR eureka moment!
But while no strategy is absolutely foolproof, there are some approaches you can take that definitely will increase your odds of success. They include:
- Follow the news. This is something we do every day on behalf of our clients. You increase your chances of getting the media’s attention if your pitch aligns with something people in the news business are already writing about and talking about. They want fresh angles that their competitors don’t have, and if you can provide that you’ll be their new best friend. So begin each morning by checking out what’s happening in the world. Google News is a good place to start for a nice menu of reports from a variety of news sources, but there are plenty of other places to look as well. What’s going on that fits into your area of expertise? Are you a surgeon and there’s a new study involving your specialty? Are you a divorce lawyer who can comment on the latest celebrity split? One of our recent clients was a scientist who could talk about the eclipse. We kept him very busy with radio interviews leading up to that major astronomical event!
- Solve a problem. Ask yourself this: What are some of the problems my clients or customers are trying to solve? Those problems – and the solutions for them – can be the inspiration for a potential story pitch to the media. To keep their audience tuned in newspapers, magazines, online publications and the broadcast media report on problems people face and interview experts who offer tips on how to solve those problems. For example, a financial professional can offer tips on what to do if you haven’t saved enough for retirement. A doctor can suggest ways to avoid becoming ill while on a cruise. But as I’ve cautioned on previous occasions, if you’re pitching a story with tips, make sure those tips are something someone could easily put into practice after reading the article. And, most important, the tip can’t be “hire me.” J
One final tip I would give you is this: Be persistent.
It’s not unusual to send something to the media – a pitch you just knew would get their attention – and get no response at all. Don’t despair! Just keep trying. Even though one pitch failed to strike their fancy, the next one might strike publicity gold!
P.S. If you’d like professional help getting coverage in the press, or being interviewed on radio and TV, give us a call. We’ve been providing this service to clients for 27 years. We also offer a comprehensive social media marketing program for select clients, where we do it all for you. If you’re interested in our help, please call us at 727-443-7115 Ext. 231. We’d love to hear from you!
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.