How to get media outlets to #COSIGN your story!
We’re all aware that press coverage can be key to the growth of a business, brand or career, but quite often getting that coverage can be a challenge. It’s a highly competitive environment when you’re trying to get a media outlet to essentially give you free advertising, so as a media outlet, we at COSIGN have compiled what we see as the most effective methods to get press. With the below tips and a bit of persistence, you should be able to find someone to tell the world your story.
#1. Find media outlets that fit your brand.
It almost goes without saying that you’re not going to pitch your brand of eye liner in Sports Illustrated, as SI’s target market is men interested in sports. You’d be throwing away time and effort that would be better spent in trying to get Cosmo (or another publication directed toward women) to feature you and/or your brand.
Do your due dilligence and research publications. Sometimes your perception of an outlet may be incorrect. Reputable outlets will have data for you on their demographic, so that you can spend your time wisely and not have a fire pitch be pitched in vain.
One thing to keep in mind is that while your story may be good, it may not fit the theme of an issue or episode, you may have missed a production deadline, or the internal workings of said media outlet may not be conducive to your story at that given time. Be patient.
#2. Writing about you or featuring you has to be mutually beneficial, make it easy for them and interesting for their audience.
If you pitch an advertisement, they’re going to pitch you their advertising packages. At my time in journalism school, we were taught that if we were going to write a press release, write it in a manner that a publication could copy and paste it into print or web with minimal effort or editing. Writing is not everyone’s forte, so outsourcing this to a strong writer might be an option, but whoever writes it, it needs to be a story moreso than an ad. This can take many forms, whether it’s a story about the product, the company, you or a combination of all of those things; make it interesting and informative.
#3 Be your own blog
To piggyback off of tip #2, creating your own content on a blog or website can also lead to interest from a media outlet. If you tell your story well, it could either intrigue the editors, or again, if it’s written in the proper format (many print publications are written in AP Style), they may just run the story on their website or in print.
Also be sure to have your site completely funtional and your links active. You have to exude legitimacy.
#4. Stay in the mix and build relationships with the decision makers at the media outlets that you are targeting.
If you are always out at events that these outlets cover, or follow and engage them on social media, they’re eventually going to remember your face and get to know your story. Keep up with who writes what articles/columns and who handles what subject matter for television and web broadcasts. These are the people you need to build professional relationships with. Their familiarity with you, before you pitch them a story, helps you stand out among the dozens of pitches that they are getting on a daily basis. And if you do it right, they may approach you before you pitch.
Keep in mind that the people at these outlets are regular people, they don’t want to feel pressured or be put in an awkward position. Push too hard and they may just stop responding to your emails and stop answering your calls.
#5 Give out freebies.
Whether this is giving free entry to media people or sending samples of your product to an outlet’s office, everyone likes freebies. If you have a good product, or can add context to your brand, you may raise their level of interest. Essentially the same way you would woo your potential customers, you can woo your potential coverage.
#6. Offer Outlets Exclusives
If you are submitting something for print or web, offer the media outlet an exclusive (this works particularly well for music or film). Exclusivity is key. You can cycle through your media outlet contacts, offering them exclusives as you have them available. Every outlet wants to be THE place for something new. A good example would be Kanye West making his album only available for streaming on TIDAL before releasing it to other streaming services days or weeks later.
#7 If all else fails, Hire a publicist.
Keep an eye out for the “COSIGN Guide to Selecting Your Publicist.”
Good luck out there and let us know how effective you have found this guide to be. Email us at info@COSIGNMag.com or comment (and follow us) on our Instagram, @COSIGNMag.