For the past 18 months there’s clearly been one huge topic dominating the media – dare we say the dreaded ‘C’ word?
But how do you ensure your brand cuts through the noise and get media coverage?
Here at CCF Media, our PR whizz kids have gathered a few handy hints that have helped us get media coverage along the way. Arguably, they’re tactics that have always been important, but during the Covid-19 pandemic they’ve become crucial essential.
For many brands, PR has become a communication tool to help drive sales, so lets go through the basics. Remember – if you need some help building your brand we offer PR services.
Build and nurture your media contacts
Like many of us, a lot of journalists have made the switch to remote working, meaning picking up the phone is no longer that easy. You’d think email is the most effective way to get a hold of them, but because they receive so many it’s easy for yours to get lost. Existing relationships you have built and nurtured along the way will help get your email to the top of the pile – keep up your communications and be reactive and helpful.
Does anybody care?
That might sound harsh – but it’s the truth. You might be excited about your latest product launch, but will anybody else be interested? If the answer is no, best to hold off until you have a better angle or reframe your story. If you’re not sure whether your story is newsworthy, pay attention to the publication you want coverage in to get a feel for what they typically cover. Do your research and tailor your pitches to the specific journalist – the days of round robin pitching are gone.
Have an opinion
You don’t always have to play it safe. Spokespeople with a point of view are more likely to make the news. Make sure your commentary is insightful, meaningful, and sounds like a real person – avoid overly-technical language and jargon if you’re hoping to secure consumer press.
Tailor your pitch
Whilst there is still a place for wider press release distribution, thought leadership pieces and more future-proof ideas tailored to a specific outlet have proved more successful for many of our clients recently. Take a look at this story we placed with Mail Online as an example. Take your time, research the outlet and the journalist to tailor your pitch around what might interest them.
Remember to research
Related to the point above, remember to check you have the correct contact. Many journalists may have switched roles and even left the industry due to Covid. It’s no use sending your hard-crafted pitch to a health editor when it was for the beauty editor; a pitch sent to the wrong journalist is time wasted, and most likely to end up unused.
Think about your subject line
Your subject line is the first thing a journalist sees, so make it count. Most journalists receive hundreds of emails every day, so it’s a good idea to label emails containing press releases with the phrase “press release” and a great subject line that will instantly grab their attention. Remember, don’t try and be too clever: you have a journalist’s attention for just a few short seconds. If they don’t immediately understand they will move on to the next and you may not get media coverage you need.
Now more than ever, it is important to be reactive and flexible. News pages are crowded, so naturally, we have had to adapt to work around the news agenda. Be prepared to turn a story around or switch the angle at the drop of a hat, and make sure your clients understand the benefits of being responsive.
Remember, have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to aim high. If your story doesn’t make right away, don’t give up though. Determination and a willingness to learn will take you a very long way, and good content that has legs will get picked up.
Need some help?
We work with journalists every day, placing our clients in national press stories. Need some help to get media coverage? Ask the team about our PR services.