(This is the second in a 3-part series. Want to read Part 1? Click here).
How can your story attract a reporter’s attention?
Credibility and authority.
That’s what media attention can provide for you or for your company’s brand. But some entrepreneurs aren’t sure how to create the connections needed for positive press. They aren’t sure how to build relationships with journalists. This series of articles addresses that.
As you’re looking at your own journey, consider what parts of it might resonate with a reporter. Go one step further. How would your story resonate with that reporter’s audience? And while you’re thinking about what you would pitch, make sure you are concise in your statements. Journalists get a lot of email and you want to cut down on the possibility of it getting deleted.
Answer these questions.
*What’s your story?
*Why would it be interesting to that reporter or producer’s audience?
*Why is it interesting right now?
The media pitch
Now that you have a solid story idea, you may wonder what you should say in an email or a press release.
A press release can work as a way to broadcast a large event. It isn’t necessary in every case, and quite honestly, many people don’t send press releases correctly. But if done right, press releases still have the power to connect you with a journalist. For more tips on how to create that, you can download my free press release template.
But a simple email works just as well.
If you do your research, you should have no problem crafting a solid email to a journalist.
If you are in the healthcare industry, for example, focus on reaching out to a health reporter or someone who writes in the medical space. Those journalists are already looking for stories within the healthcare field. Help them out.
Once you target the right reporters, the emails are much easier to put together.
Take a look at these examples. Please know that the details have all been made up.
“Dear Joe Reporter,
I enjoyed seeing your article in “The Daily Gazette” on the new businesses coming into the area in the fall.
If you are looking for other businesses to feature, I wanted to pass along a story that may be of interest.
Our company provides services for (name your clients). We have been in business for (state the number of years) and we value customer service greatly. In fact, while customer service isn’t something typically associated with my industry, we have made it our mission to make customer satisfaction our number one priority.
We’d be happy to talk about how to create a customer-centric business with your readers/viewers/listeners. I can connect you with the president of our company and also introduce you to customers who see the value of customer service.
What do you think?
Thank you for your time.”
“Dear Julie Reporter,
My name is Susan Businessowner and I own an accounting firm in Virginia Beach.
I’m noticing a trend in my business. More and more families in my neighborhood are turning to accounting services for their personal finances. It’s creating a new market in our business that typically services other business owners.
Families are seeing the positive impact in their home life, in terms of increased time with family.
I’m happy to talk about ways that families can use accounting services for their personal benefit as well as introduce you to families who have decided to budget accounting for their homes.
If you are interested, I can put you in contact with the families.
Thanks for your time and attention.”
“Dear Susan Journalist,
9 out of 10 children say they prefer recess to any other time in their day.
We’re all sending our kids back to school next week and I know your audience is focused on the change coming to their daily routines.
But education is also on their minds.
My company focuses on making learning more like recess. It focuses on making learning more fun. But education is a huge part of this equation.
How? By incorporating learning into the time allotted for recess.
If you’re interested, I’m happy to talk with you about the state-tested and parent-approved system. I can also introduce you to parents who are happy to talk about the results.
Please let me know your thoughts on this.
Thanks for your time.”
What do these story pitches have in common? Other than being completely made up? They focus on adding value to the journalist’s audience. And they also make sure the reporter or producer knows there are other people you can connect them with to round out the story. Consider that before you hit send on your next media pitch.
The story may be the most important thing in this equation, but keep in mind, once reporters read your email, they will go on a full-on fact-finding mission. Their goal: to see whether you are who you say you are.
How can you properly prepare for media attention? Answers are in Part 3 of my 3-part series, “The Ultimate DIY Guide to Getting Great Press.”