This article will give show you the steps to follow in order to pitch the media and receive coverage for your book, small business or non-profit.
As America’ s Leading Media Pitch Coach, my number one goal is to have my clients attain coverage on TV, radio and in print. Geoffrey James over at Inc.com and I agree on most points about pitching the media, so let me share some of the points he and I think you should follow when seeking coverage in the media.
Your first step to come up with a story worth covering. Reporters and producers are always searching for stories that their audience wants to read about, hear about or watch. So the “market” is there, you just have to cater to it. A story like this will probably be somewhat different than say an ad directed at consumers.
Your story has to go beyond announcing a sale. It has to be something bigger, a story behind a story. A media-ready story needs a “hook” that makes it newsworthy, usually be attaching itself to whatever news stories have recently been bouncing around, or going viral, in the media world.
Next you want to insert hidden plugs into the story. Once you’ve defined a newsworthy story, your next step is to encapsulate your sales message into a “nugget,” which you can work into the interview. The nugget ensures that potential customers take note of your product when they read, hear or watch it.
Nuggets are short, digestible, and (above all) quotable sentences that you work into the interview. They’re more than just “sound bites”–they’re “sound bites” that help sell your product.
Be sure to position yourself, as an expert and a person the media should contact when covering the story. You don’t want the media to contact someone else after you have given them the idea for a story. Show the media that only you have the experience, knowledge, etc. that can ensure the story works well with their audience.
Now you need to pitch your story to the right people in the industry.
There are three ways to reach reporters, in order to usefulness:
1. Personal contacts. This entails pitching your story to a reporter or producer whom you’ve already met or who’s already interviewed you.
2. Targeted emails. This entails pick through Internet news sources to find reporters who’ve covered subjects similar to your story pitch in the past. You then send them a personal email explaining why you contacted them, and why you think they’d like your story.
3. It’s really crucial to understand the publications you are targeting. What works for the local press might not be of interest to a trade publication or niche magazine.
A local newspaper, for instance, would take interest in thing affecting normal everyday people. This could be because your business has created new jobs, or because you are offering a new service not available in that area before.
Trade publications will be interested in how your business really stands out from its industry, and if you have a particularly revolutionary way of doing business.
If you’re aiming for a general business title, your story is most likely to get picked up if it transcends industries. For instance if you have raised money using a particularly unusual form of finance or have a particularly novel way of keeping employees motivated.
4. Press releases. These are form letter email sent indiscriminately to thousands of media people. Most reporters ignore them, but there are many sites that will publish the release as it is, giving you at least some kind of coverage.
Most reporters tend to have “beats”–specific subject areas that interest them and which they write about. Getting a feeling for a reporter’s “beat”, helps you can craft what you’re going to say so that you can insert your “nuggets” more easily and smoothly into the resulting article or post.
Regardless of how you contact reporters or producers, you’re not going to capture their interest unless the subject is really great.
You need to do this once you have been booked to do an interview.
As you’re being interviewed, insert your “nuggets” into the story. Here are two t techniques that work well:
1. Bridging. This is a technique of moving from one aspect of a topic to another. To achieve a successful “bridge,” you answer the interviewers question honestly, and then promptly follow that response with your message. Here are some typical bridges:
· “No…” (answer the question), “let me explain…” (your message here).
· “Yes…” (answer the question), “and also remember…” (your message here).
· “I don’t know, but what I do know is…” (your message here).
A word of caution, though. Make sure that your messages are related to the questions that were asked. Nothing annoys a reporter more than a blatant non-sequitur.
2. Flagging. This consists of prefacing your nuggets with a phrase that indicates the importance of what you’re about to say. Here are some classics:
· “Here’s what’s really important…”
· “The three points to remember are…”
· “Let me be perfectly clear on this…”
Flagging helps the reporter (and eventually the audience) prioritize your remarks, thus helping your message (nuggets) come through more clearly.
If you follow these main points, you will be on your way to getting coverage on TV, radio and in print.
The only area you might have some difficulty with is tailoring the advice to your specific circumstances. Each book or business is different. That is why I developed the Quick Fame System. It comes with one on one phone coaching, so we can tailor the pitch to your individual circumstances.
If you already have a pitch and just want to run it by me, you can use the One Hour Media Pitch Consultation.
Oh and be sure to sign up for the Free special report shown on the home page of this blog, it really is quite good.
If you want to contact me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK, good luck.
America’s Leading Media Pitch Coach.