The media actually want to hear from YOU.
You may not realize it, but while you're busy working everyday, you're always promoting yourself as an expert in your industry. Often, you are so deep in what you do that you do not even realize what you know or who you can help.
So, why not use a couple of strategies to earn media exposure for yourself so you can be seen as the go-to person in your line of work?
Sounds like hard work? Well it is actually easier than you think.
And I am going to show you how...
Promote Yourself to Earn Media Exposure
You have to promote yourself to earn media exposure, and this can be done in two main ways:
- When news breaks, or
- By enterprising a newsworthy story
Let’s Talk About Breaking News.
Whether it happens locally or nationally, find a way to insert your expertise.
For example, if you are an expert in online security, you could be the go to person to talk to when a big university or company has a data breach. It’s big news, so the media will most likely try to find different angles to cover.
Making sense of it in layman’s terms or talking about ways to comeback from the breach and prevent it from happening again could be possible angles…
and you as the online security expert should contact the media yourself and pitch that angle right away.
The conversation would go something like this:
I’m assuming you’re covering the data breach we all heard about this morning. Listen, if you want to include what is means for students or employees in layman’s terms, please keep me in mind. I’m work in online security and could offer some expertise.”
It’s that easy.
Let’s Talk About Enterprising News.
It’s sometimes a little trickier to enterprise news stories, depending on what your profession is. This is when you need to find a way to make yourself and your expertise newsworthy.
Remember, this isn’t advertising. This is public relations.
If you want earned media, you need to have a newsworthy story to tell.
For example, I used to represent the Beebo. You may have seen the creator, Martin Hill, make a deal with Lori Greiner and Ashton Kutcher on Shark Tank.
Around Father’s Day, I pitched his story to Entrepreneur. Not Beebo’s story.
I talked to a writer about him quitting his job and becoming a stay-at-home dad. While he was taking care of his infant son, he noticed a problem and couldn’t find a solution, so he created one.
Now, that is a story.
Promoting the Beebo as a product is not. Making something newsworthy means having a “real person” to interview.
Here’s another example.
An owner of a jewelry store where customers could come in and make their own jewelry wanted media attention for her business. After talking to her to find a story, we found one:
Moms were coming in to make their own jewelry for fun, but some turned it into their own at-home business and became entrepreneurs. It all started at this store, so obviously the store would be mentioned and hopefully the owner would be interviewed, but the story wouldn’t be about the jewelry store or the owner. It’d be about that “real person.”
I like to use the the three E’s to determine if a story is newsworthy:
- Will it entertain the audience?
- Will it educate the audience?
- Does it have emotion?
Although you may not think yourself newsworthy there are many ways you might deserve to be in the news.
Here are a few examples:
- You have won an award
- You are hosting an event
- You are speaking to members of a community
Whatever you’ve done, don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftop.
If you don’t, who will?
So promote yourself!
I think it is so important, I wrote another blog post about it!
Whatever you’ve done, don't be afraid to shout it from the rooftops!
Keep Pitching And Keep Changing The Pitch.
You don’t want to email the same journalist every two weeks with a new story.
Realistically, they can’t cover you every other week.
For example, if you are in real estate, here is a way you can mix up your pitches over time:
- Send your first pitch with a business angle containing sale numbers. (Media outlets love numbers.)
- Then, make your next pitch have a family angle with an increase of families moving to a certain area because of the great schools and parks in the area.
- After that, you could go for interior decorating or real estate photography with drones, etc.
More On The Beebo Example
Remember the Beebo I mentioned earlier?
Here are two different ways I got them media coverage:
- I earned the product coverage in Entrepreneur with a “stay-at-home dad creating a product angle”.
- Then, I got the Beebo on the Rachael Ray Show where a mom participated in a “Human Lab” and reviewed the product. The segment was about 10 minutes long. (Do you know how much it would cost to advertise nationwide for that long?!)
Moral of the story: two great outlets with two very different pitches and two very different stories.
Follow Up Is Key
Remember, you are one of many e-mails and phone calls a journalist receives each day. It’s not hard to get lost in the inbox-noise.
Don’t think they are not interested. Maybe your pitch was never seen. Many times it’s not, so always follow up.
When It Comes To Media Pitches, Follow Up Is Key #PR
Make Your Pitch AND Subject Line Catchy… And Short.
Again, it’s the busy inbox problem.
You want to catch someone’s attention right away with the pitch itself. But, if you want them to get to the pitch, you’ll need a short and catchy subject line.
I once represented a running app called Heat Running. I got it featured on
- the ABC station in Washington DC
- the Washington Post
- the Chicago Tribune
- Men’s Fitness
- Women’s Running
and many other publications.
How did I do it?
I rarely pitched the app itself.
Instead I pitched the story behind the app – which was a great story.
Usually, the subject line read: Man creates running app after losing 200+ lbs.
Man creates running app after losing 200+ lbs.
That statement makes you want to learn more, right?
Before you develop your newsworthy angle and run off to pitch the media, don’t forget to click here and grab this guide that will help you earn media exposure from start to finish.