Media Coverage TIPS
Positive media coverage is a great way to showcase your small business. But how do you get noticed? Start with these suggestions:
1. Look for news hooks.
Example: you are a relationship coach. Pitch yourself to traditional media just ahead of Valentine's Day.
Example: You produce natural pet food in small batches. The next time a major brand issues a recall, pitch yourself as an expert. But remember you'll need to offer real advice not expect a free commercial.
2. Post on Twitter and tag journalists. Follow local reporters on social media and learn the types of stories they typically cover.
3. Be flexible. If you have to rearrange your schedule at the last minute to accommodate a reporter, do it.
4. Use video to help with your pitch. If you are in business you need video on your website and social media.
5. Be realistic. Not "everything" you want to promote is newsworthy (for traditional media). But your social media followers make a great audience.
When 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?
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.
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.
Regardless of when your news event, news conference or interview is scheduled, expect to get bumped when breaking news happens. Yes, the definition of "breaking news" is wide these days. But true breaking news trumps everything.