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Positive media coverage is a great way to showcase your business. But how do you get noticed? Start with these suggestions:
1. Look for news hooks (example:
2. Learn media deadlines
3. Do not pitch during breaking news
4. Be persistent and flexible
5. Realize that not "everything" you want to promote is newsworthy
What is the best time to pitch to the media or hold a news conference? I am often asked that question. There is no single correct answer. On social media you are your own producer and can post anytime. But what if you want TV exposure?
More viewers watch TV on weekdays, but don’t assume it’s bad to try for weekend coverage. The chance of getting your event covered on a weekend, which is traditionally a slower news period, is often greater than it would be M-F. Weekend assignment editors and producers are constantly looking for fresh material to fill the broadcasts. There are only so many crime and accident stories a producer wants to include in his/her newscast. That leaves an opening for your news.
You will need to work around media deadlines. So don’t plan to hold your news conference or event at a time when it is next to impossible for the media to cover it. Always factor in their drive time, especially if you are in a market such as Los Angeles. If you are dealing with a TV network, all planning is done to accommodate the Eastern Time Zone, even if you live on the west coast. A reporter piece that is to air at 6:30 pm ET, has to be in the can and ready to roll at 3:30 pm PT. That means network reporters on the west coast really have to hustle and gather elements early in their day.
With 24 hour news networks and Internet media outlets, deadlines are more fluid. But to optimize your media presence, I still recommend working around broadcast and print deadlines in your market.
Regardless of when your news event, news conference or interview is scheduled, expect to get bumped when breaking news happens. You’ll need to determine just how big this breaking news is, before rescheduling. Is it something that will fill the air for a few hours? days? If it is big enough, your local media outlets and the networks will be tapping into all their resources. If a commercial airliner crashes in Dallas; producers, crews, reporters and live trucks will be dispatched from any and all bureaus. If a small plane crashes in Dallas, more than likely it will be covered with local resources. But, suppose a major celebrity, politician, or corporate leader is among the passengers of that small plane? The media will make it a bigger story.
There are a few tricks to grabbing media attention. Having a video go viral is a terrific way in. But we aren’t all that lucky (or maybe clever). You’ll want to use social networking to get your word out to specific journalists. You will also need to write a news release and distribute it to traditional media outlets. There are free on-line distribution services, just a Google search away. Others charge for their distribution services, but often it is worth the money. And of course you want to