READ TIME: 3 minutes
A mention in the local media or trade press can boost the credibility of your event planning business and potentially bring new customers your way. However, getting your company’s name in print (or online) requires some finesse. Here’s how to increase your chances of getting noticed by editors:
Manage your expectations. Depending on the publication, and the frequency with which it publishes, your media release can have lots of competition. Expect to have a better chance of having your news published in a daily publication vs. a monthly. A monthly publication, however, may be more likely to write a feature article mentioning your firm if the timing is right and your news meets certain editorial criteria.
Expand your definition of media. In the digital age, media has many form factors, including newspapers, magazines, blogs, e-newsletters, podcasts, and vlogs. They can all be potential outlets for media exposure.
Choose the right outlet and find the right editor by reading, watching, or listening to the publication before approaching with your news or story idea. That way you can put your news or story pitch in context.
Send a media release for news (an event that just took place), but pitch a story idea for larger, deeper topics, such as trends, innovations, and game changers that can have lasting impact on an industry or consumers.
Find the editorial calendar (broad list of topics the publication plans to cover in a specific issue) for the publication and contact it several months in advance with ideas or projects in the aforementioned editorial categories.
Make it easy. Don’t attach your media release as a PDF. Either embed it into the body of the email or attach an MS Word document. Also include photos, and more detailed documents, such as a case study, if you have them.
Get to know editors and writers and stay in touch. Editors are gatekeepers who dole out assignments to specific writers. If and when your ideas get picked up by a specific writer, start reaching out directly to them. Search them out at industry events and ask for a few minutes of their time. Follow and comment on their social media posts.
Offer to write periodic column or guest post for the publication. You likely won’t be compensated for it, but it can provide you with exposure.
Keep building your own brand on social media, online outlets, and your website. Writers looking for sources search company websites and LinkedIn. Post there frequently.
Don’t be a pest (i.e. forwarding non-newsworthy items too frequently), but also don’t give up. Editors are on deadline and have certain editorial requirements to fulfill, and they may not always be able to attend to your media releases or story pitches when you send them. However, If you keep your name in front of them and send good, newsworthy, fresh ideas, you’ll get noticed, and with any luck, become a trusted source of news and ideas for your favorite publications.