How to get your news in the media

Media coverage can make wonders for your business. So solid news media strategies should be part of well-rounded publicity campaigns. As opposed to advertising, articles have high credibility, are read and for free – if you manage to get the editors’ interest. 

So how do you get journalists to publish your news? What can you do to improve your chances of getting published in newspaper, radio, television or online?

Develop contacts in the media

Learn how journalists and editors work and decide what to publish. It's easier than you believe. Media is constantly looking for news and are happy to write about companies and business people, provided they consider the story to be of interest to their readers. Do you have a story to tell, positive news or wish to comment on something in the news related to your business? Pick up the phone and call the journalist. This can be particularly fruitful if your organization has an ongoing need to be in the newspaper or on TV.

Create news

Editorializing your news is crucial. What subjects are media interested in and why? What would make them interested in what you have to tell? Read, watch and study as many news outlets as possible and try to understand what makes news. Then present it in ways that make the journalist feel it is newsworthy.

Get to the point and keep it short

When sending press releases to media covering your field keep it short to the point. If it's long and complicated the editor may not even read it. Don't make it appear like advertising, boast or complicate it because that can work against you. Focus on what’s new, trendy, unusual, interesting, and of significance to the broadest numbers of readers. News organizations also love stories that arouse deep emotions – love, sympathy, hate, fear, anger – feelings that people can identify with.

Call the media swiftly

Journalists are flooded by emails so the best way of succeeding is to call him/her. Once you have got them interested in your story you can proceed with sending an email with information. And be swift. Nobody is interested in yesterday's news. If you spend too much time contemplating how to best get results you will miss the boat. Arrange a news conference if you believe, or know, you news will generate significant media attention.

Need help?

If necessary use a PR & Communications consultant. It doesn't have to cost a fortune but is well worth it. Media coverage can be make or break for your business so until you master the art of handling the press it is money well spent.

Don't hesitate to be interviewed and profiled in the media because it increases your chances of getting your news published. Look at Richard Branson. He masters the art of using himself as a living "advertisement" for Virgin Group. And I don't need to tell you how successful he is. Where would Virgin be today if Richard hadn't manged to get an abundance of media coverage? Don’t be afraid to ask for coverage and propose specific ideas. Your story could become the centerpiece on the front page. Don’t be discouraged or argumentative if your idea falls on deaf ears. You will learn from the experience. And don’ forget that the editor may turn you down today simply because the staff ’s time is taken up by other assignments. Be persistent. Be positive. Develop more and better ways to pitch your organisation into the news media. And whatever you do, don’t forget that if they don’t like you they will not publish your news. So make sure you come across in ways that make both you and the company look good.

(photo: aidasonne – PhotoXpress)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

25 Responses to “How to get your news in the media”

  1. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you found it helpful Veda.

  2. Guy Says:

    A good article, Catarina!

    As you say, one of the key points is – as you put it – to create news. I call it, "having an opinion." A press release for your new Widget 1.02 is unlikely to attract interest or attention, but a story about how customers can benefit through saving time/money/whatever (particuarly in the context of current events) with Widget 1.02 is likely to get a good deal more coverage…

  3. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks Guy and I agree. Or even better if you have a real life story about how Widget 1.02 saved someone say, a lot of money. In particular if the person is willing to be named.

  4. Kirsten Nelson Says:

    Thanks for sharing. I get journalists I know to publish my news and it really has an impact on my sales.

  5. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good for you Kirsten!

  6. Keyuri Joshi Says:

    Wonderful post with sage guidance. I love the idea of injecting emotion into content. If we pay close attention the some of the best marketing campaigns on the planet, they successfully evoke strong emotion and count on our impulsiveness action based on that emotion. Good idea too to keep it short and effective with a strong introduction.

  7. Ethel Smith Says:

    Yes the media has enourmous power. Will try to use it more with the help of your suggestions.

  8. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad media coverage has been such a success for you Dennis!

  9. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good luck Ethel! Be persistant.

  10. keyuri joshi Says:

    Your article has certainly inpired me! Hmmm…

  11. catarinaalexon Says:

    Unless there are a lot of people doing what you are doing, it will work provided you pitch them in a way that works.

  12. keepupweb Says:

    Great tips Catarina. I have limited experience doing this but I can attest to your point that editors welcome fresh content that appeals to their readers. So, we should definitely be open to approaching them.
    My recent post The Rise of the Cyber Cold War

  13. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks Sherryl. Do let me know when you need a helping hand with the media and we will figure out the best way to get it published.

  14. Martha Steward Says:

    Wonderful article, so encouraging. Thank you for sharing your insight to getting noticed in the media. Yes I am following your blog : )

  15. Leanne Says:

    When you want to get noticed, you really have to be media-savvy. A little publicity is better than nothing! Thanks for sharing this, Catarina!

  16. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you like my article Martha.

  17. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Leanne. My pleasure.

  18. kcampbellpr Says:

    Great article. I especially appreciated the fact that no matter how difficult it might be, it is imperative to pick up the phone and make the initial contact voice to voice. If you just send an email you will drown in an ocean of email messages that will be purged in six months when you get a deleted not read message. Call-write-call is the only way to go.

  19. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me K Campbell.

  20. BinduDesigns Says:

    I heard like following journalists on twitter is good. But to get noticed one need to have real connections. You give great tips. Yes, if you have a business, it is very important to be in the media as an expert. Nice article Catarina.
    My recent post Toronto Zoo

  21. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you like my article.

  22. akandrewwriter Says:

    Really enjoyed the post Catarina – you really brought it home that everyone has a story and that if you don't put it forward it won't get told. I have tended to think 'oh why would they be interested' , but your article has encouraged me to approach them. Thanks so much. Look forward to more posts with subscription to yr site.
    My recent post Editing Forward

  23. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad it encouraged you, AK. Go for it!! The worst that can happen is that they say no. And then what have you lost?:-)

  24. Dr. B P Kathel Says:

    Great article. I have experienced this phenomenon nearly forty years ago, when I called a editor of a highly circulated youth magazine on Sunday morning and told him " I have traveled 2240 kms to have breakfast with you today"
    The response was expected " He said he is going to wait till I reach and gave me directions.
    I spent nearly whole day with him, even had lunch together. He called me next day in his office. I was interviewed and photographed. Four weeks later I was on the front page of the magazine. That created a wave in the company and they decided to help me by funding my innovations. From that time I have been telling people that publicity is 95% success, hardwork alone is 5% success.

  25. catarinaalexon Says:

    Great example B.P.!

Leave a Reply