The evergreen question for any brand trying to get visibility is “how do I get an article in my target media outlet?” The target is different for everyone and targeting is an entirely different conversation.
This guide is for those that know who and why they want to target a specific media entity and build a strategy on scoring their dream media win. Get a piece of paper while you’re reading this and get to work.
Step 1. Identify your media outlet
This step is a lengthy process in itself, but when you identify your media targets, you need to know why you want to be featured in that particular media and the message that you want to deliver to them.
Step 2. Visit the website or buy the print edition
Make sure you know the layout and voice of the publication. If there is a print edition, get it and parooze, it’s really the best way to “vision board” your media hit.
Step 3. Review the sections
Take some time to review the different sections, see if they have a podcast and explore all the potential editorial opportunities that the outlet may have available. You may find multiple sections and angles where your brand’s expertise can play a really pivotal role. Also most outlets do have some form of multimedia coverage, so don’t forget to give that a look.
Step 5. Identify the journalist(s) that work in your topic.
Find out which journalists have been covering similar stories, competitors or writing the sections that you’re interested in. Research their background, interests, stalk them on social media to gain more insights on how to reach them specifically.
Step 6. Draft an appealing pitch for the specific journalist you’re reaching out to.
Once you know who to target, try not to formulate too corporate of a pitch. Be authentic, talk about how you found them, why you reached out, why your brand is a great fit for a story, your proposal and your call to action.
Step 7. FOLLOW UP
The biggest misstep, time suck and falter of any pitch is the lack of follow up. We all have things to do but schedule a follow up on your calendar. Use tools like boomerang to remind yourself. Above all, every time you follow up provide more value to the journalist and maybe another reason they need to cover you (if you can). Sometimes it could just be a cheery “Happy Friday, hope you have a great weekend, do you have 10 minutes to talk about XXX company?”
Step 8. Monitor for media coverage.
Last but not least, it would be terrible if you DID get a mention or post without an interview but you didn’t catch it. It happens sometimes. The last phase in our “pitching media” is making sure we got the coverage, especially when it comes to product reviews (which sometimes take MONTHS to post). Again set some reminders or Google alerts (these typically show up later than published) to make sure you keep your eyes out for that juicy coverage. In some cases you can ask the journalist when the coverage is “expected” to post, but they may not always have a date. I wouldn’t ask more than once.
How do I know this works? Most recently, this is exactly the approach we took when securing Ottonomy.IO in FOX Business, Asetek Sim Sports in the print issue of Men’s Health (pic below). Farmsense in Popular Science and EVE Online (CCP Games) in The New York Times in coveted Sunday print among many other proud placements over the years.
And remember.. If this all sounds like too much time, The Silver Telegram is here to help ;)!