How to Improve Communications With Media Reporters and Get Free Press

Many business professionals who are trying to get media exposure overlook what they must do if they are going to get a reporter, an editor or an editorial assistant to pick up the phone and respond to an inquiry, perhaps a mailing or some other form of communication you have sent.

First and foremost, you need to realize that it’s not about what you have to say, or a product that you have or something that’s important to you. The relevance of whatever it is you’re presenting has to bring value to what the subscriber’s want. As you think about getting into the media, think about what you can do to not only add value to reporters and editors, but how you can help them do their job easier.

Are you conducting any research to help them? Are you asking questions that they may be asking about a relevant topic that’s out there in the press? If you are, you’re taking the initial first steps that you need to do to improve on what’s going to be communicated to media contacts.

All too often, people have a quick idea, or a thought or a belief about something that may be relevant to the media, but they don’t do their homework.

Quick question: If you’re studying a media outlet that you want to approach for a free media spot, are you studying their competition? Studying the competition can help you understand and give you topics of discussion as to what you need to talk about when you approach someone at a specific media outlet.

When reporters and editors know that you’ve done your homework about topics of relevance that are pertinent in the news, you’re ahead of many people who are not doing that.The benefits can be great. Take the time to do your homework. Take the time to find out and understand what it is that their subscriber base is really looking for.

Here is a helpful tip: Look at previous editions or Web site content from the last 60 to 120 days. Obviously, you do not want to bring in content that has been used previously. Keep that in mind and also know that it’s going to take you time. Most media outlets are booked with content anywhere from 30 days to 120 days at a minimum.

Posted in PR.