“How Can I Get the Media to Cover My Business?”

As I interact with business professionals at networking events, or through prospect or client meetings, a question that frequently comes up is: “How can I get the media to cover my business?” The way this question is framed often provides me with some indication of why the business or individual is struggling to get the coverage they’re hoping for. It’s an “inside out” question. It’s focused on “what’s in it for me?” instead of “what’s in it for them.”

I believe that whenever we are attempting to convince an audience–any audience–of anything, we’re best served by coming up with reasons for why they will benefit from doing what it is we want them to do, rather than trying to convince them to help us in some way.

With this particular question, my advice is usually to flip the question around to ask: “What information do I have to offer that is both newsworthy and of interest to a particular media market?” The media is not interested in “covering your business”–they are interested in providing timely information (news) that will resonate with their target audiences. Information that will resonate with their audiences is generally not information designed to market your products or services. That’s not news. That’s marketing.

It can be challenging for many businesses to come up with media pitches that reflect “real news.” But it can be done. It is often most effectively done when it is tied, somehow, to a real person, or people–especially people who are part of the media outlet’s target audience. So, the fact that you just opened a new pizza restaurant is not news. The fact that your new pizza restaurant is staffed by recent members of the homeless population in your area might be. It’s not about you–it’s about them.

What news might you be able to deliver to your desired media outlets? Start to uncover possible ideas by flipping the question around to focus on what newsworthy information you may have to offer.

Related posts:

Looking for PR/Media Coverage? Some Do’s and Don’ts.

Does PR Matter in the Internet Age? Duh!

Tips for Successful Media Exposure

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