Getting press coverage is a full-time job

Getting press coverage is a full-time job

As a full-service public relations firm, our clients come to us daily to focus on securing press coverage, what the industry calls “earned media.”

Clients look to collect press clippings for myriad reasons:

  • To attract employees, clients, investors and other stakeholders

  • To show and validate the value in what they do without making it seem like self-promotion

  • To showcase their knowledge and industry expertise and position the company and its executives as thought leaders

  • To launch a new product offering or service

Meanwhile, reporters and bloggers are always on the lookout for new sources and story ideas. If you have a clearly defined set of business objectives, a targeted strategy for earned media outreach, consistent and ubiquitous messaging and narrative and the right spokesperson ready to answer a reporter’s questions at the drop of a hat, you’ll be more likely to be enlisted for your services when it counts the most.

While clients want press, we often have to gently remind them to “get the house in order.” We make sure they establish the infrastructure needed to consistently secure the press coverage they want.

Here are a few things we tend to look at:

Kick the tires with people who drive cars for a living

Analyst briefings are essential for specific industries. This is the opportunity to present an overview on your company and offering to market research firms. Then, sit back and listen to the analyst, who will most certainly identify strengths and poke holes in any flaws in your presentation, product or service. They are some of the best sources of content surrounding their coverage areas, as they’re not just listening to you; they’re listening to your competitors and other within the industry.

If your business is an industry not suited for analysts, such as hospitality or food and beverage, you still need to kick the tires. Test your product, hotel or restaurant with a select group of people who will provide honest feedback for your brand.

Breaking bread matters

Nothing solidifies a relationship more than meeting face-to-face with reporters to brief them on upcoming news. It’s easier to plant story ideas, learn more about what they are exploring in their writing, and what stories they are interested in pursuing. Once those have been identified, it’s much, much easier to contribute to them in interesting and impactful ways.

Expert profiles

A company may have its own voice and story, but it certainly also needs individual spokespeople and industry experts who have an online profile, blog, consistent social media presence and a flow of thought-provoking content. This is essential for getting story ideas out and being able to quickly present these individuals to the press when a reporter is looking for a quote or a piece of unique insight.

Social storytelling

People buy the stories and lifestyle associated with a product just as much as they buy the physical product itself. Utilize social media to breathe life into a brand narrative—from the company culture and its thought leaders to case studies, testimonials and trend alerts. Client and press contacts alike are online, which is why a carefully crafted storyline that keeps your audience engaged matters more than ever. It’s a fresh opportunity to tell the story and visually encapsulate the brand experience.

Ready to pounce

Are there hot topics your experts can speak to when a breaking news event happens? For example, your chief security officer should be ready to speak to the press if a major breach is announced. In the 24/7 news cycle, the speed of response to providing expert commentary matters just as much as the content of the commentary itself.

Oh, the places you'll go

The communications department and your PR firm are only as good as the communication within your organization. Make sure your PR team knows your spokesperson’s travel plans and any wiggle room to fit in a coffee meeting with a journalist or strategic partner. This allows for more face time while capitalizing on pre existing travel plans. It’s essential to have the major conferences the company will be attending mapped out in advance with a PR and marketing strategy before and during it.

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