Target one reporter at a time
Broadcast email spamming to the media does not work. Taking the time to read a publication and then crafting a unique pitch to a particular journalist can work wonders. Mention a specific article the target journalist wrote and then explain why your company or product would be interesting to that journalist. Make certain to target the subject line of the e-mail to help ensure that it gets opened. Put journalists on your mailing list for background information they may find interesting (e.g. your company newsletter) – but always include an unsubscribe button!
Help the journalist to understand the big picture
Often it's difficult to understand how some widget or service or company actually fits into a wider trend. You make a journalist's job much easier if you describe the big picture of why your particular product or service is interesting. Often this helps you get mentioned in the reporter’s future articles or columns about trends in your space. Give the editors what they need. Send them interesting stories they will want to publish. Make sure your press releases reach publications before their deadlines. Some publications have very short lead times. You may need to act immediately to utilise a PR opportunity. Use a standard press release format, written in the right style.
Explain how customers use your product or work with your company
Reporters hear hundreds of pitches from company spokespeople about how products work. But it’s much more useful to hear about a product in action from someone who actually uses it. If you can set up interviews with customers or provide written case studies of your products or services, it will be much easier for journalists to write about your company.
Don't send e-mail attachments unless asked
These days, it is a rare journalist indeed who opens an unexpected e-mail attachment, even from a recognised company. Send plain text e-mails instead. If you're asked for other information, you can follow up with attachments, but be sure to clearly reference in the e-mail what you’re sending and why, so the journalist will remember asking for it.
Do them favours
For example, send them information they will find useful, even if it has no publicity value for you, and respond quickly to any requests they make. Most journalists are working within tight deadlines and have a heavy workload, they are very busy people - be helpful!
Do not be put off
Send press releases whenever you have a worthwhile story, even if your last release received no coverage. There are many reasons why a story may be rejected or held over, which may have nothing to do with your release. This is the latest in a short series of articles and tips based upon our short, tailored PR course for small companies. If you'd like to know more about the course drop us a line at email@example.com or use the form on the contact page.