The Beginner's Guide to Getting in the Press

 

When it comes to getting your product, brand or story out there, PR is one of the absolute best ways to go about it. It’s about putting yourself where opportunity can see you. Don’t underestimate the power of the press, even though traditional advertising is becoming overpriced and less valuable, PR will always be powerful. You can reach tens of thousands of people, get powerful social proof, brand equity and a lot of traffic FOR FREE. YES. FREE. Now as good as that sounds, it still needs be done correctly. In this article I’m going to teach you the steps you can take to get in the media ASAP!


Tell a compelling story.

This is the most important thing when it comes to PR. Think about it - journalists,  reporters, TV shows, even bloggers, their primary goal is to tell great stories that their audience will love. So you need to give them just that! You cannot just send a press kit blatantly promoting your product and how great it is, if you do that they will send you a link to their advertising department. Richard Branson once said, ‘You can’t buy an ad on the front of Time magazine, but you can get on the front page.’ We aren’t all PR extremists like Branson but it’s a good point! You need to tell them a great story. 

If you are a young entrepreneur going out on your own to do a startup, you’re already on your way. Now it’s time to make it into something exciting, unique, shocking, funny or really outside the box. Whatever angle you go with, make sure it’s compelling and will make the reporter want to release a story about it. 

 
 

Make the headline pop.

Writing a press release is similar to writing a blog post. It all begins with the headline, to reel people in. You’ve only got one line so make it count! Use action words, compelling language, make it clear and understandable, and as short as possible. Focus it all around one clear message and wordsmith (use creative language) to make it sound irresistible. 

Most of all make sure it’s interesting. Reporters get an endless stream of pitches and releases every single day, so it’s worth spending the time to give it a compelling titles. Don't leave the reporter bored or confused from the get go.

 
 

Writing a press release.

In Jack Delosa’s book Unprofessional, he says that before you send out your press release, the story needs to be:

  • Relevant — it’s not all about you.
  • Factual — it’s not just an opinion.
  • Credible — the argument makes sense and is coming from a reliable source.

This is a great framework to use as is covers the key areas to making your release stand out. It should be made up of:

  • A kick ass, attention grabbing headline.
  • Paragraph 1: Outline the existing argument or topic.
  • Paragraph 2: Introduce your facts and statistics
  • Paragraph 3: Expand on your argument.
  • Paragraph 4: Quotes from you. 
  • Paragraph 5: Close with why this is relevant right now.

Fit all of this on one page so it’s easy for the receive to skim over it and get the message easily. Reporters are slammed so they don't have the time to sift through details and unnecessary background information. They just want facts that will help them tell your story. 

To download a free press release template simply click the button below!

 

Who to send it to.

Going onto a publication’s website and just hitting the contact button isn’t enough. There is a low chance of you successfully getting a story printed or aired through this process. You need names of the people you want to reach out to, and attempt to create a relationship with. There are a few steps I recommend taking:
 

  1. Choose a few publications you want to get featured in. 
  2. If it’s online, read a few articles and take down the names of the journalists that wrote stories relevant to your scenario.
  3. If it’s a magazine version flick through the first few pages to find the names, job titles and hopefully contact information.
  4. If it’s a newspaper search the name of the writer and try and find a contact address.

Once you’ve got those names, do a search and try and find a phone number or an email address. If that doesn’t work (which isn’t uncommon), here is another weapon that will be extremely helpful...

The power of Twitter.

I’ve always said that Twitter is underrated, and this is the section where it is seriously undervalued. Twitter is the best social media platform for conversations, and almost every journalist is on it. Search for them, follow them, like some of their Tweets and then send them a compelling Tweet. NOT ‘Hey can you put me in your magazine’ in fact it’s sometimes better to talk about something non related first to get the conversation rolling, something as simple as replying to a few of their tweets. Then tell them that you’ve got something they would love if they have 5 minutes to chat.

I also recommend trying on LinkedIn and even on Instagram direct message. Places where they aren’t bombarded so heavily (like their inbox).

What not to do.

  • Don’t write a ‘press release’ that is blatantly promoting your product.
  • Don’t have a boring headline and email subject.
  • Don’t send a generic email to as many people as possible. It needs to be personal.
  • Don’t just buy a mailing list and cross your fingers. 
  • Don’t flood it with unnecessary information that doesn’t help the journalist tell a story.
  • Don’t use buzzwords or complex language. Keep it clear, simple and compelling.

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With these tips you will able to get your story, product, cause or brand in the press and reap the rewards! Press gives you a lot of exposure, so don't hesitate! If you found this article useful please share on social media so your friends can get some PR action going too!

MITCH HILLS

Twitter & Snapchat: mitchills


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