Years ago, a press release was the best tool to use if you want your story to be picked up by media outlets. This is still what many new business owners believe which is why their first thought in marketing their company is by sending out a press release.
The question is, do journalists actually read them today? People rarely read nowadays so it might be time to consider new ways to market instead of using news release services.
The competition for a journalists’ attention is pretty stiff, almost everyone is vying for the much-coveted pick up by news reporters and be used as their next big scoop.
There are DIY methods that are also effective in getting media mileage. Let’s take a look at some of them.
You need to build relationships with your target journalists and editors. Start coming up with pitches that are personalized. Doing this will show the journalist that you did your homework in researching about them and their publication. It takes time and effort to do this and journalists appreciate this being done for them. A pitch that is targeted to their publications audience is heaven sent because it makes their job a lot easier.
Find out the name of your target journalist and make a pitch that is personal to him or her. Don’t send copy and paste pitches that are impersonal. Know more about the journalist and how your content will help him and the publication that he is working for. Show interest in his work by coming up with an introduction that you have read his work.
Use a subject line that can get attract attention. Don’t use generic “For your information” or “To whom it may concern.”
You can format your email as a blog post or article. Break the ice by being conversational, try to tell a story. Tag your email with keywords and include a link to your company website.
Before you send your email pitch, try to engage the journalist by sending a tweet. You can also turn your email content into one or two tweets. After sending your tweet material, you can follow up with your email pitch.
You can also try sending a message on Facebook. Add known journalists and influencers to your Facebook friends list. Start engaging by following them, liking their posts and commenting.
If you have the guts to do it, you can give a journalist a phone call to see if they are interested with your release. This will save you a lot of time and effort, getting a positive or negative reply will help you focus your efforts to other journalists or build upon what you have already started.
Why not go a step further and meet up with the journalist over coffee and make your pitch face to face. There are journalists who would take advantage of this invitation as a way to get out of their offices.
If you have built a relationship with the right reporter then you can reap the benefits of that relationship by giving an exclusive story. Reporters love getting exclusives which are newsworthy and relevant. Once they write your story there is a huge chance that you will get publicity on a lot of other publications. You get to achieve PR results without having to write a press release.
There is a trend of people preferring to watch videos than reading. There are over 500 million people watching videos on Facebook every day. A quick video can take the place of a free press release distribution and get better results. You can start sharing your video on the various social media platforms for better exposure.