Although I recently posted a blog that diminishes the importance of traditional media exposure, it can still be an effective way to strengthen your brand. Although be warned, you may be surprised in the lack of traffic that results from inches in a print-publication. If you're interested in getting some exposure in local/regional newspapers, national papers or magazines, there are some guidelines that are important to take into account. Approaching media outlets is anything but easy, so here are some best practices that will help you get heard:
- Choose The Right Publication: This is so important. Sure, getting in the Wall Street Journal sounds great, but if you don’t have a relevant story to tell it’s best not to waste your time.
- Know The Journalists: Newsrooms get an infinite amount of press releases daily, so if you’re going to send a press release to “editor@_____.com” or “news@____.com” chances are you’re not going to hear back. Unless you’re Apple or something.
- Do Your Research: Okay, so you’re not going to send a generic “to whom it may concern” e-mail to Time Magazine, so what should you do? I call it “Guerrilla Media Outreach.” Read the magazine/newspaper you want to be featured in and take note which journalists are writing about what topics. When you find a match, simply Google the writer’s name and see if they have a personal blog or Twitter account (leave their Facebook and LinkedIn alone). From that point, you can probably find their e-mail address and you can send them a personalized pitch. Remember, the relationship with so-and-so journalist is way more important than any single piece of coverage, so never burn any bridges. Always be friendly and give the reporter an out by writing something like “if you’re interested, let me know, and if not... no worries!”