Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time… Hang on. No real juicy story should start like that.
When it comes to getting a story in the press, it’s all about the good, the bad, and the ugly, right? Well not necessarily. You don’t want to be on the front page of The Guardian for some sort of scandal or because your business is struggling.
The good news is, there is a way to control what the press says about you.
So many businesses come to us asking for help with PR. They want to get their business into local and national news publications along with industry magazines in order to get their brand in front of new potential customers.
But, that’s not all… Getting in the press has a variety of benefits.
The Magnificent Seven
Our PR process has been so successful that we’ve generated coverage in The Times, Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, ITV, Huffington Post and the New York Times, along with local news publications such as the Peterborough Telegraph, EADT and The Comet. The list goes on…
It’s ok. Go ahead.
My point is, that you can do it too!
If you’re wondering why you should, here are seven benefits:
- Improved brand awareness, credibility and reputation both within your industry and the wide, wide world.
- An increased number of backlinks which usually results in increased traffic and improved rankings. Boom!
- More social followers and engagement, helping to create a community around your brand.
- Interest from potential investors and partners.
- Heightened employee morale – If your business is in the press, they’re going to be impressed!
- Attract new talent and recruits. – See above point!
- Doors will open and you’ll be approached for more PR opportunities.
And, what’s the overall result? A fistful of dollars!
Well, almost. You get increased exposure to new potential customers. It’s then up to you to convert them.
The Greatest Story Ever Told
So, let’s not get too excited just yet. We probably need to take a step back, because, if you want to get in the press, you’ve got to have something decent to say. You also need to know what publications you’re going to approach and who you need to speak to.
Once you’ve got your hit list of journalists and publications you want to target, consider what stories you could approach them with. Consider what kind of stories they’d love. It could be anything from:
- Your business has grown significantly – either with the number of staff, turnover or customers.
- You’ve won an award.
- You’ve raised a lot of money or beaten a challenge for charity.
- You’ve supported the local community.
- Your business has developed an innovative new product or service.
It’s great if you have a good news story to share, but you’re not going to be winning awards every week, so it may be that you’ve got to create a juicy story instead.
How do you create a story?
There are many ways, my friend…
- You could conduct a study
- Run a survey
- Create an infographic
- Write a white paper
The list goes on…
But, consider this, if you can use your industry contacts and tap into your audience to provide insights that would be useful to others, that’s a story in itself!
Once you have your story, it’s time to generate a great pitch and contact a journalist who may have a potential interest in it.
Lonely Are The Brave
Believe it or not, journalists are actually looking for stories. They want people just like you and me to make their lives easier. Yet so many people don’t even try and get in touch with them.
When you start your PR journey, essentially, you’re going in cold. It takes time to build a good relationship with a journalist, but it’s so worth it!
Here are the steps you can take:
- Connect with journalists on social media.
- Comment on their social media posts.
- Message them about a recent article they’ve written – provide your opinion to show you’ve read their work.
- Ask what stories they’re looking to cover.
- Go in with your pitch.
It’s not rocket science. All you have to be is genuine and be willing to share your stories. The worst thing a journalist can say is “No”. But you’ll have more stories and there are many more publications.
It takes True Grit
A person with true grit sets themselves goals and is always perseveres to reach them. So, just because one journalist doesn’t like your pitch doesn’t mean someone else won’t.
When it comes to your pitch or press release, it’s not always going to be perfect. In fact, there’s no such thing as a perfect pitch or pitch formula. You’ve just got to ensure your story and the press release is interesting enough, that it’s emotive, or that people will relate in some way.
At Quibble, we often write various versions of our press releases and pitches to appeal to different people. Even changing the title or subject of the initial email can make a massive difference. And, whatever you do, ensure you provide all your contact information so whoever you’ve contacted can get in touch with you for more information.
Your work doesn’t end there.
Once you’ve sent a press release or pitch to a journalist, give them a chance to come back to you. Don’t start calling them nonstop as soon as you’ve sent your pitch, but do follow your email, or direct message up to see whether it was of interest. Do this after around 4-5 days.
If you don’t hear back, remember it’s not the end of the world. Move on to the next journalist and the next story. You can then start working out which stories people want, what insights they’re after.
And, that’s where you find the hidden gold.