The media work in their own world and they have different rules of engagement than you do. They probably have a lot of stories to sift through each day, and the easier you can make it for them, the better. Therefore, it’s imperative that you understand what they want to see from you so that they’ll put their eyes on you.
A Proper Press Release
One of the first things you should learn to do when it comes to getting into the eyes of the media is to craft a compelling and properly formatted press release. There are good reasons why there is a specific format. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here. You’re playing in their yard, so play by their rules.
Work to improve your website, press releases and anything with sales copy on it. If you can grab the attention of your audience and you’re successful, then the copy will likely work for them too. But, they need to see that you understand the importance of a good attention-grabbing subject line in all your communication efforts. It will make their job simpler.
The Human Interest Connection
They want to know why your story matters to anyone. They want you to tell them who it matters to and why. They want you to do the work for them and make it easy. They need the stories and you need the exposure; find the connection and tell them your story.
For You to Do Your Homework
Connect to the right journalist or reporter and don’t just contact the news desk. Instead, you need to build relationships with the right people. Journalists and reporters tend to contact the people they know for information. If you want to be favored, favor them too.
Answers and Availability
It’s important that if you want to be quoted, and you want them to tell your story, you’re available. Plus, if you ever say the words “no comment” they may never contact you again. Give answers, and be prepared to answer anything honestly in an appealing way. The media is your audience. Let them focus on their audience while you focus on pleasing them.
The Local Connection
It’s important that you connect locally to the media, because all stories start as local stories. When you find the local audience, you’ll hit a goldmine, because even if your business is national your press is local.
The media doesn’t want to have to dig for your story. You need to be an open book to them. Put information on your website for the media. Use non-staged images from your events, short personal stories from customers and clients, press releases from past events and easy to find contact information.
Respect for Their Time
While it is a reporter’s or journalist’s job to get the story, they don’t really have tons of time to spend on each story. After they get information from you, they have to fact check it, put it together in writing and perhaps on digital media to share with the world. You can help them by respecting their time and answering when they call.
You can get into the eyes of the media if you play their game. There are rules of engagement but they’re simple rules. Build relationships, find out what their problems are, and solve them. The media needs content, and you have it to give them. You just need to help them understand how your story benefits them.