October 7, 2022 |

12 minutes

How to Get Media Coverage for your Business

Gaining press coverage can be a game changer for a business. Media coverage can be spread through various channels, including television, newspapers, and websites. Getting your story in the media will help you raise brand awareness and boost sales. But what does it take? This guide will explain how to get media coverage using a press release. As we'll see, there is quite a lot to it, and there is no one easy method to get a press release published.

What is media coverage?

Media coverage is the attainment of print, radio, press, or online media that mentions or displays your brand in some form. Online media include blog articles, video content, RSS feeds, and social media. The coverage itself can be positive, negative, or neutral. Media coverage aims to raise brand awareness, boost sales, impress stakeholders, or draw attention to a cause.

The difference between paid, owned, and earned media

Paid media consists of either running advertisements, being included in a news story for a fee, or through other types of sponsorship.

"Owned media" refers to any web property you own and can control. So your website and social media channels, for instance.

Earned media is when the press covers what you do without charging you an advertising fee, for example, by using PR tactics like sending a press release to a journalist.

This article is about how to get earned media, predominantly through PR.

Why media coverage is vital for companies

Positive media coverage is an integral part of any marketing strategy. It gives you the chance to convey your strengths and expertise. It also comes from a third-party source, making it more convincing for the reader. Media coverage highlighting your position in the market as a critical thought leader can increase sales. It can also turn customers and stakeholders into brand advocates. Here are some reasons why media coverage is essential:

1. Boosting brand awareness

Limiting your marketing to your website or other owned media means you are likely to engage only with those who already know you and what you do. Getting media coverage will expose your brand to a larger audience than you would otherwise have been able to reach. Media coverage can help you reach interested people to learn more about your product.

2. Unprompted brand recall

What comes to mind if you were asked to name a famous technology company? If you were to survey 100 people on the street, you would probably hear the same few brands being mentioned. This question, when asked to customers, is called unprompted brand recall. The more likely a customer remembers your brand, the higher the recall, and the more successful the brand is. Maintaining media coverage throughout the year helps increase the customer's ability to name your brand when asked about a specific industry.

3. Increase sales

Through media coverage, you can influence consumer buying behavior. Highlighting product features in the media can also highlight the strength of your brand. With more brand awareness follows more sales.

4. Crisis management

A crisis can be managed effectively using social media. It is an instant communication channel and can be used for time-sensitive issues. However, the use of social for this type of delicate work depends on the brand already having a robust social presence before the crisis. Once the emergency has happened, use social to communicate with key stakeholders and develop a narrative that you want to be used to describe the problem at hand. Use social media to supplement a press release accepting responsibility for the situation and explaining what the brand plans to do. Social media can also monitor the brand's public opinion and respond to customer questions or criticisms. Press coverage also can help with this.

5. To draw attention to a cause

You can promote your event to a wider audience by engaging the media, regardless of the cause you are campaigning for. Gaining media coverage is a great way to spread your message and increase donations and awareness. Your cause can be promoted through events in a way that engages audiences directly, inspires them, and draws wider attention. If you receive the right kind of press coverage, your event will become more visible and may even attract more attendees. Your event, cause, and organization may also gain legitimacy due to media coverage and raise your profile for the future.

6. What it says about you to get coverage

Your brand reputation will be much more impactful if your brand is mentioned in a respected media outlet that targets your audience. When an independent party talks positively about your business, it is much more credible than if you were to speak for yourself. This customer perception happens because when people see positive media coverage about your brand, they think there must be a reason for it. They assume the outlet chose to write about your brand, not a competitor, for a reason. It puts you in an excellent light. It also shows your relevance.

Media coverage can reinforce your brand identity. It can help get a compelling story out in the public realm and be used to show the brand's mission. Favorable coverage can build a reputation by making you sound like an industry leader.

How you get media coverage

1. Research journalists

Research the names of publications that can give you coverage within your field. Check for related articles published in the last few months. Make a list of these. Then, find the author and privately reach out to them. There is a good chance that the author will know the topic and be interested in covering it further. Make sure to personalize the message. It is better to seek relevant individuals and write a custom pitch for each one than to pitch to a general publication. You might even find them offering to get your business on the news before you ask.

Freelance journalists are often a good bet. Potentially you can receive a variety of placements instead of just in one outlet, and freelancers are keen to get their stories picked up. Building rapport with journalists means, over time, you can leverage these relationships for mutual advantage. When done correctly, it can be very effective. Below we look at how to get media attention.

2. Leverage social media channels

These days, journalists are on top of social media to follow trends and get ideas for stories. Therefore, post newsworthy items on your social pages. It may come in helpful in getting an article written about you. You can also follow reporters and outlets to see what they post. Also, your credibility can improve if the journalist follows your brand.

3. Consistent branding across all channels

Pay attention that your logo, tagline/marketing slogan, tone of voice, and communication style are consistent across all media types. This is especially important if you are also buying media. Use your brand guidelines and style guide to ensure that all channels are consistent. It is essential to do this with internal assets, such as your staff intranet website, and externally on outdoor ads, tv ads, radio ads, press ads, and digital content. It needs to be up to date and consistent with the message that aligns with your brand's vision and vision. If your brand's website uses a slightly different version of your logo than your brand's social media profile, it won't give a journalist a great perception of you. They may not want to write about you. Be sure you convey who you are, what you do, and your values.

5. Do the journalists work for them

Reporters work to strict deadlines and are bombarded with pitches from brands wanting to get published. Make their job as easy as possible by providing all the necessary information and writing parts of the story for them. This will make it a lot less time-consuming for them. Helping them in this way may also increase their likelihood of wanting to work with you again.

6. Concentrate on the pitch

If you want to learn how to write a press release, then being original is priceless and will always be in demand. It may be an original subject or a different angle on a topic. Either can help you get noticed. Provide data. Journalists love data! Use your data or research and provide some interesting statistics. Pitch original content that's tailored to the publication that you're targeting. Also, provide visuals. Far from just looking pretty, visuals can help tell a story and aid the reader's understanding. Visuals also help you stand out. Visually appealing infographics can help you get media coverage and are a great asset to getting media attention.

7. Send actual samples

The sample can be an incentive. By offering a complimentary product sample to a reporter, they can review your product in their publication. This helps if you are a smaller business and you need to get your foot through the door.

8. Check competitors

You need to be bold and proactive to get press attention. Take advantage of the information available to check the PR coverage your competitors have received and who, if anyone, assists them. Finding this out on their press pages or social media may be possible. As they've already covered similar businesses, take advantage of this and contact these outlets. It won't hurt.

9. Don't be frightened to just ask

This brings us to this. Sometimes just asking can help. Reach out to a media outlet and ask if they would be interested in covering your news. Be polite and persistent. It will soon pay off.

10. Newsjack and exploit other natural opportunities

One other method that could succeed in getting you media coverage is newsjacking. In short, this involves using a topical news story or discussion to boost your brand. A definition offered by Tech Target is "the practice of aligning a brand with a current event in an attempt to generate media attention and boost the brand's exposure". You need to think carefully about how this can be accomplished and how you can relate it to your business. While it presents risks, it can help generate interest in your brand and get you in the news.

11. Answer journalist queries

Some services can provide media coverage. Sites like HARO (widely used in digital PR campaigns) connect journalists to sources, who in turn offer their opinions and expertise on a matter that the journalist can then use in their story to increase credibility and legitimacy. If your answer gets picked up, you and your company receive a backlink to your website, thus driving traffic to your site and promoting your brand. Another similar platform is Terkel. By using multiple platforms, you increase your chance of receiving a backlink. Potentially, you can get twice the publicity.

12. Follow-up after two days

Part of being consistent in trying to get published is to be consistent with following up. Have a set procedure in place. Reporters are inundated with emails from people wanting them to cover their stories. They need to prioritize these. We advise following up after two days so you don't get lost in their emails. As a result, your story has a greater chance of being published. Answer any questions you receive as thoroughly as possible. Ensure your replies are timely, clear, and personalized. This will make it easier for them.

13. Involve everyone

To get published in the media, use multiple avenues and work with multiple journalists. Working with only one journalist means the input of only one viewpoint. By working with as many different people as possible, you can answer more queries and share the views or expertise of others to increase your chances of making the news. Choosing representatives from various companies should ensure that a wide range of experience and credentials are covered.

14. Check what works and what does not

Your brand awareness and market presence can be improved by analyzing media coverage. Website traffic and backlinks are a great way to monitor your media coverage progress and check social media platforms for links or an increase in followers.

Mistakes in media pitching

1. Harassing reporters

While you must follow up with reporters and chase them to get coverage, calling every hour on the hour and emailing them daily is not the right approach. Think how you would react if it were you were the reporter. This approach would not make you want to publish the story. The strength of your message alone is what will get you the coverage. Follow up two days later and possibly two days after that. Then leave it. It probably isn't the right time. It helps in the long run if you recognize and value a journalist's time.

2. Get frustrated

It is easy to get frustrated when you feel your efforts are being ignored and you have something valuable to contribute. Try not to take it personally. Stay professional in emails and over the phone, even if you don't like what you hear. Not every attempt will work. You will eventually find a reporter to cover your story, and you must stick with it.

3. Change messaging suddenly

It's essential to be consistent with your branding and messaging. It needs to align with your company strategy and brand development. When contacting reporters, it is very easy just to focus on the newsworthy element and to sell your story this way. It is crucial, however, to be consistent with your messaging and brand as it helps reporters learn about you and perceive you in a certain way over time. You can, over a longer period, claim broader leadership. This will strengthen your likelihood of getting published as they understand your story.

4. Not following up

Congratulations! You've secured media coverage. Job done, right? Actually no. In today's highly competitive market, even after a journalist publishes your news, you'll miss an opportunity to stand out if you don't take advantage of the coverage. Use social media platforms and more traditional forms of marketing, like emails, to extend the impact of positive media coverage. People seeing this may want to learn more.

If you want to know more about the difficulties of media pitching, you can read this article.

Conclusion

Knowing how to get press coverage for your business requires planning in advance, regardless of your chosen method. You need to decide what you want to say and how you want to go about it. Your content needs to be original and newsworthy. Determine which media outlets and journalists are most relevant, make a list of media contacts, and build a relationship with them. It would be best if you were both proactive and reactive. Keep your ear to the ground, put systems in place for monitoring the media landscape, and be ready to act.

Sign up to our newsletter!

Subscribe for weekly key tips on public relations for startups & tech companies
Sign up here
Amsterdam
Herengracht 252, 1016 BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 202 443 748
Austin
10900 Research Blvd Ste 160C, Austin, TX 78759, USA
+1 (831) 603-5485
Stockholm
Birger Jarlsgatan 57 C, 113 56 Stockholm, Sweden
+46 768 81 64 37
Munich
Schellingstraße 109a, 80798, Munich, Germany
+49 89 21530184
Logo of PRLab, the PR agency based in Amsterdam, Austin, Munich and Stockholm
Mon - Fri:  09:00 - 17:00
Contact us
PRLab | PR Agency - PR Firm
arrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram