Introducing Something New? How To Generate News!

Whether you’re opening a new business, launching a new product, hiring a new employee, writing a book, creating a blog, etc., etc., etc., there are a number of activities that your business might engage in that you feel should generate news. Problem is, there is often a gap (or seems to be) between what you think is newsworthy and what the new media think.

The good news is that even very small organizations can generate media exposure. They need, though, to follow some general guidelines.

First, recognize that the media is not out there “pounding the pavement” looking for your news. Most of the time they rely on publicists, PR people–and you!–to tell them about newsworthy activities that may interest their audiences. That’s great news for you– but only if you can take your marketing hat off, and put your news media hat on. Here are some tips to get you going:

  • Start by clearly identifying your desired target audience and your objectives (e.g. raise awareness, establish yourself as a thought leader, influence some issue, generate leads, etc.).
  • Based on the audience you are hoping to reach, and influence, research and develop a list of potential media outlets.
  • Make connections with the editors/reporters/producers/journalists associated with those media outlets through social media and email (phone calls, these days, are frequently frowned upon by the media–they’re too busy to deal with unsolicited calls).
  • Offer “news”-related stories–not stories designed to be self-promotional; it’s a fine balance, but an important one. Obviously you’re interested in promoting yourself, but the media will quickly ignore you if they feel you are looking for “free advertising.” Keep your focus on content that represents value for the media outlet’s audience.
  • Take advantage of resources like HARO and Profnet to learn about stories that journalists are working on and looking for sources for.
  • When responding to journalists, stay on topic and be detailed and relevant in your response; frequently they will pick up content from your email to use in their stories.
  • Don’t badger reporters–e.g. asking them if they’re going to use your comments, when the piece will run, if they’ll send you a copy, if it ran, if you were quoted, why you weren’t quoted, etc., etc., etc.
The bottom line: the more you can make it about them and the less about you, and the more you strive to be truly helpful to the journalists and media people you interact with, the more likely you are to generate the coverage you’re looking for.
Recommended Reading:
Guerrilla Publicity– Jay Conrad Levinson
6 Steps to Free Publicity – Marcia Yudkin
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