More than 75% of business owners are already overwhelmed. This article simplifies getting into the news so it's not "just another thing on your plate."
We've been talking about press strategies for a while and, by now, you probably know you need one to grow your audience, but you might not be sure how to make one. Let's start from the beginning and discuss the building blocks of a great press strategy so you can do this for your own brand:
Reminder: A press strategy is your roadmap to getting into the news and taking advantage of press opportunities. You use your press strategy to identify your story, what reporters you'll pitch and the various media components you'll include. This will also guide your answers to interview questions, help you figure out what aspects of your brand to spotlight and clarify your call-to-action/ask.
Related: Not sure where to start? We can help clarify your story, find reporters to pitch and answer your questions. Book us for a quick 30-min Q&A now!
Let's quickly go through the 3 major components of a good press strategy:
A good story: It doesn't matter how much you plan your press strategy if the story you are pitching is boring. Reporters won't pursue it regardless of how many times you email them. A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking their brand is the story. Instead, take a second to explore your story more deeply and ask yourself a few questions to polish it further: Who does this story affect? Are there any misconceptions around this topic? What is the most surprising part of your story? Is there anything that can make someone emotional? Ultimately, you want to be able to imagine your story already in print or on the news. If you can't envision it, it's likely that your story isn't ready yet. It's OK to slow down and give it more time because the result will be a much better feature.
A list of reporters: Pitching is tough, often demoralizing work. You'll send hundreds of emails and hear back from a few. Plan ahead by having a full list of reporters' contacts already ready. For reference, I always start with a list of 100 reporters. This will help on those slow days where you're feeling unsure and cut through the doubt. It also helps to keep you organized because you can log responses, interview times, publishing dates and links. Always note what reporters took your story because you want to form a longer-term relationship with them past this interaction.
Related: Are you struggling to get media coverage for your brand? Our Full Press Strategy includes a unique strategy to get you in headlines, 3 FREE press alerts (written just for your brand)– and more than 50 dozen tips and tricks to help you stand out!
The actual pitch & content you will send out: Now we come to the pitch itself, the bulk of your strategy, and which includes a press release or media alert. I also prepare 2 or 3 ready-to-go"cold contact" pitches in my strategy, meaning the exact copy of the email I plan to send to reporters. This helps me quickly respond to urgent requests or breaking news. Finally, take the time (on a following page) to identify key media components like photoshoots or ready-to-go video. Newsrooms move quickly, so you don't want to get stuck asking a client for more content when you do hear back. Include it in your pitch and have it ready to go.
A good press strategy is critical for any growing business because a great interview places you right in front of your target audience. However, between ads and products, it's easy to forget about. Thinking through these three components: the content of the story, the reporters to contact and what you'll send out can help you quickly gather an effective press strategy– cutting down on time and the sense of overwhelm that many entrepreneurs face when dealing with their own marketing, advertising and publicity.
Ultimately, there are other smaller (but key!) components to include in larger, more detailed press strategies and we'll dive into some of those next for entrepreneurs who are ready for the next step.
For now, here's a handy checklist you can use:
Take a few moments with each new product or initiative and plan your path to news coverage. It can exponentially grow your audience- overnight!