You’ve done your research, you created an amazing pitch and you scored an interview, CONGRATULATIONS! Don’t celebrate just yet!

I’m sure that’s not what you wanted to hear, but to score your dream headline, there is a lot of prep work to be done before “the big day”. If done right your coverage headline can be exactly what you want it to be, but there are things that you should definitely know before going into that coveted interview.

  • Two-way street – Your connection with the media should be mutually beneficial relationship. You are not doing them any favors (trust us!), but neither are you (if you have a great story). This relationship you’re creating in the best case scenario will pan out in coverage, but in the worst case scenario, should pan out into a longer-term collaboration.

  • Know your story – Know what you want to say about this conversation. Know what you want out of it. The best way is to create your dream headline and craft 5-10 key talking points behind that story headline for this conversation. It should match up with what you pitched them in the first place.

  • Stack your chips and provide resources – Good PR form is to be a resource for the media. Don’t just give them your story, but give them credibility and validation so that it makes it easier for the writer to pitch and place it with their editors. If you have amazing customers, hook them up with a follow-up conversation. If you have statistics, provide them with credible research to make the story most compelling. Always solve an industry problem, that’s the fastest way to get published.

  • Follow up, follow up, follow up – The process doesn’t end with the end of a conversation, it ends with a piece of coverage. Make sure that you follow up. Every time you follow up to provide a resource, a new piece of information, check in to see how their day is going. This is where most startups fail in the PR process, however, it’s also the most critical process in securing coverage. Just like all of us, we get buried and reminders are quite valuable.

  • There are no guarantees in media  – There are many reasons why your story may not get covered. Timing, editorial approvals, other breaking news. If it didn’t happen just yet, don’t worry, all is not lost. Regroup in a couple of weeks and start a conversation on how you can make the content and story relevant again. Remember when you were following up? Were you providing new info and resources? Build your story to a point where it can’t be ignored.

Always remember that it is not over until you see that beautiful headline online or in print, or if you’re lucky…both. Good luck!