Ward to the Wise

Five Ways to Make Your Business Simply Irresistible to Media

Sometimes getting media to pay attention to your story can feel mystifying.  And it’s especially frustrating when a competitor is getting coverage on the same topic you feel more qualified to address.  However, working effectively with busy reporters requires a smart, strategic approach to pique their interest.  Here are five ways to build meaningful relationships by being irresistible.picture-for-five-ways-to-make-you-business-simply-irresistible-media-ward

1. Start a relationship with a reporter well in advance of your story pitch.  Think about it.  Do you respond to email appeals from strangers? Treat reporters as you’d like to be treated were you in their shoes. Read their recent articles.  Thank them when their coverage teaches you something.  Acknowledge when they got the facts right and presented the issue fairly. When you reach out to them, introduce yourself, your company or client and ask about the topics they’re covering now and in the future that are relevant to your business. Listen more than you talk.

2. Review their publication editorial calendars and offer angles you think would be a natural fit for their upcoming planned content. If they don’t publish editorial calendars, make a list of all the recurring columns, features and editorial patterns and figure out how your story could fit in their news-product content strategy. Provide examples of what your spokespeople can offer as expert sources. Be mindful to focus on trends and issues and the impact on their audience. Do not sell a product, service or solution.  That’s advertising.  Advertising is your job, not theirs.

3. Offer to write contributed content if the outlet accepts outside authors.  Many industry trade publications are quite understaffed today and welcome the assistance.  Follow their writer guidelines and standards to the tee.  Meet the deadlines.  Done correctly, they will trust your ability to provide guest editorial and open the door to future opportunities.

4. Genuinely compliment reporters on the story they have written on your topic, but don’t gush. (Those of us with journalism degrees are word nerds by nature, but we live and die by facts, not fluff.) Share their stories via social media, retweet article links or make a comment on their online version of the article.

5. Stay in touch.  Remember, the goal is to foster a long-term relationship where collaboration achieves positive results for both parties.  Maintain consistent contact with your media partners to stay top of mind and not be remembered as a one-trick pony who only rears its head when it’s hungry for more.

When you’re informed, genuine and helpful in your approach, reporters will remember your name and be more willing to listen when you reach out to them. In fact, as long-time Ward clients can attest, if you follow this simple advice, you’ll likely find the media reaching out to you when something relevant to your business occurs.

If you want to cause communication with reporters who influence your key audiences, but aren’t sure how or simply don’t have the resources to get the job done, contact us. We’ll show you the way.


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