Get the Media Attention You Deserve: No More Waiting to See Your Name in Ink

by Kristin Marquet

Publicity is more credible than advertising because it isn't paid for directly by the company or person, while advertising space is.  Public Relations specialists can't control the size of a write up as much as advertisers can.

When your product, service, name, or company is in ink, it can generate great media attention, which is why billions of dollars are spent on PR every year.

When targeting specific publications, you should not send out mass emails with pitches and press releases because it is considered spamming.  Each pitch needs to be tailored to meet the audience of the publication.

In email pitches and press releases, make sure the subject line is relevant because you want to make sure the email gets opened.  The press release is one of the most cost efficient ways to generating publicity when you have a targeted media list. Keep the press release short and concise.  Don't use flowery and ornate language.  Media professionals want news; not to read the greatest piece of literature since Tolstoy.  Remember, editors/journalists have no obligation to run your story.

Make sure you press release follows the correct format.  Stay tuned for next week's lesson in formatting a press release.

As I mentioned last week, contact one reporter/journalist at a time.  In your pitch, reference an article the journalist/reporter wrote.  Recently, I was putting a publicity campaign for one of my new products.  I sent out four pitches to four different publications two weeks ago, and landed three feature story interviews.

Make your media contact's job easier by telling them how your company can help their audience or why your company is relevant to a certain trend.  If the contact doesn't use it right away, they may call on you in the future, when a certain trend becomes popular.

Conduct case studies from clients.  Ask your clients how your product or service has helped them.  Ask for testimonials.  Incorporate case studies and testimonials into your pitch.  This will make your release more believable and newsworthy as well as make the journalist's life easier (we will teach you how to draft a solid pitch in an upcoming lesson).

Never send a pitch or press release as an attachment, unless the journalist or reporter asks for it.  Send all text in a plain text email.

Make sure you follow up in a timely manner.

Test your pitch with one or two journalists. You can email or call the journalist. Keep the pitch to three or four sentences at most if you call.

And a few bullet points later " Don't be afraid of annoying the journalist"

If possible, address the editor by his or her first and last name

Remember, journalists find many of their stories from regular people/businesses, so it is your job to pitch them accordingly.  Just don't make your news self-serving.

For assistance on drafting a news story, contact Kristin at

Kristin Marquet is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.

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