Getting media coverage is everyone's dream. But not everyone gets it. I have placed clients over the years on major TV shows like the Today show to radio shows like Steve Harvey and gotten ink in magazines like Jet, Ebony and Oprah magazine. But the process to getting little media and getting major hits - is the same. You start small - and you'll finish BIG if you work it right. Never despise small beginnings. You should continually market and brand yourself. That is a given.
To get media attention though, follow these steps:
1. Put together your own media list. This is media of what you have researched and know what your target market is reading, listening, watching. YOU match your target market to the media audience. SIMPLE? But 90% of folks trying to get air time or ink NEVER DO THIS!!! Ugggh!
2. You then have to study that media; you have to become a student of that media so that you know exactly what that media wants and know their deadlines! Please. Learn their lead times and deadlines! And never shot gun the media and send out a blind copy email to every media contact out there. Tailor your pitch to fit the media. Actually know what it is that media person wants. Tune into what THEY are about not what YOU are all about.
3. Write a pitch letter based on what the media wants and what you have to offer in that regard. The pitch letter is the silver bullet that is directly targeted at them. It is telling them why your particular story should be considered for coverage. And why you are the expert on whatever they’re looking for. And so the pitch letter is something that gives them the comfort level. It inspires them to read your press release (that you included in an online press kit via link or have pasted it in the message box below the pitch letter in the email) BUT never send it as an attachment – unless asked! They hate attachments from people they don’t know.
4. The Press Release. This is a critical piece but really it’s just a backgrounder. The pitch letter should have gotten their attention – the release is just to verify you know what you’re talking about. But make sure it very, very simple. Don’t try to sound so deep that you come off sounding like a bore. It's a simple formula: Who, What, When, Where and Why (and sometimes HOW). Here's a tip: subscribe to Press Distribution sites like PRWeb or Christian PR Group and become familiar with press release copy. Learn good from bad press release writing.
I have examples of pitch letters and media releases here. And you can always subscribe to our email list to read the releases we send out in our Chocolate Pages ezine.
5. In the last paragraph of the pitch letter, you need to keep it short. The last paragraph talks about “I hope you will consider a review or feature story in this uplifting new book, please don’t hesitate to contact me for further information about the author or Rhythms of Grace which will be released in September”. GIVE ALL the contact info!! Cell, email, twitter, everything! Don't make them hunt you down once they decide to get feature you!
6. Give them facts. Especially if you’re an author, give the ISBN number, tell them it’s paperback or hardcover, give them the cost of the book, the publisher and give them the page count. People are in such a hurry so we want to make things as idiot-proof as possible so they won’t have to keep calling you back on “how much is it? What is it…?” Make in turn-key and simple. The easier you make it for the media, the more likely they’ll cover your stuff. Bottom line.
More info on 10 Items to Include in Your Press Kit.
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