It does still happen. A press release (PR) can bring results with traditional media or even non-traditional communications outlets (online news sites, for example).
The success of a well-crafted PR pitch might get you in a community or regional newspaper. A photographer or TV camera crew might want to visit your company, meet your team, attend your charity event or groundbreaking, or showcase your new product or service. Perhaps you might be interviewed for a radio station, and biggest of all you might wind up on a television news segment or be interviewed during a local current events show.
Yes, all of that – and more – is possible when your pitch to the media, either through direct contact spurred on by a press release or by working with a PR .
Now, though, you face something else important. What do you do when a PR effort succeeds? The answer is fairly simple but requires additional effort and focus on your part to cash in on this free form of publicity.
Taking the next steps with your PR
There are a number of things to keep in mind if you are “covered” by the media in a positive way. First and foremost, be prepared. In other words, make sure you are ready to share the publicity with your audience, whether you are featured in a newspaper or just noted on a business page.
The easiest way is to use all of your channels, from social media and website to networking contacts and internal company communications to share the news of your coverage with your team, stakeholders, customers and more.
It is important, however, to keep in mind that you must be careful in what and how you share it. Often times the articles or interviews, and certainly the photography, can be subject to copyright or may be available only to a subscriber base. (Today many online media sources, for example, release important stories only to those readers who pay for a subscription to their service.)
You can, with permission, use it in many ways, reprint it, frame it, display it and send it out to your team and share a link on social media. If it’s a television segment, or radio spot, you may be able to share it through email.
With that said, it is always important to thank the individual or media outlet that published your news or feature. This helps create a relationship in case you have other news to share down the road.
Speaking of that, it is important not to push for more coverage by bombarding your new media friend(s) with more pitches or press releases. As is usually the case, the media is looking for unique stories and unusual angles, and unless you have that again in the near future, don’t turn off the media or be pushy when it comes to your relationship.
What happens if another media outlet calls?
Media often zeroes in on a good story, and what works for one outlet might lead to other reporters or editors reaching out to you. It’s important to be ready. Do you have a company fact sheet or a one-page list of talking points?
These should have been developed as you were pitching the story in the first place, but if not, make sure you have a simple set of documents about you and your company. There’s nothing better than having a good “media kit” at your fingertips.
I will talk about media kits at length in an upcoming blog, but for now take the time to prepare a simple fact sheet about your company, your history, or contact sources or information that couldn’t fit in the press release.
Also, keep in mind that if other media contact you for their own piece you should be receptive to any further coverage you can get. Now, they might be looking for a different angle to the story, and you may not have one, but that’s okay. It’s still important to respond to their requests and engage with them.
PR does succeed. Over the years my team has successfully pitched many company stories to all forms of media, from newspapers to television, radio and through national media wire services (something else we should talk about further).
It is possible to get noticed. You can try it yourself, but keep in mind that pitching is a key part of any press release you send, and pitching can take time, and be as frustrating as it is rewarding. That’s why we’re here – our approach can go a long way to getting you noticed by the media.
So, yes, your story can be interesting enough to land you on the front pages or on the 6 o’clock news. And in a good way.