In the days before the internet, PR professionals had to work at getting a story picked up. They wrote a pitch, picked up the phone and told the story again and again. If they were really lucky, maybe one media outlet would notice.
Then came email, and the internet. Now it is easy. There are hundreds of niche publications and you can blast a note to 100 outlets as easy as sending it to one. It has never been easier, or has it??
Today, the best journalists are overwhelmed with hundreds and thousands of emails, all pitching stories, many of them irrelevant. How do you get your story to the top of the pile?
Writing for Entrepreneur.com, Nick Saint suggests:
- Pay attention to who writes interesting things in your industry.
- Pitch a story, not your company
- Set yourself up as an expert in your field. If you write interesting things about your industry, or provide interesting data, or are just available to say interesting things about it, reporters will want to talk to you and feature you in other things they write
To his list I would add “build relationships”. It is not enough to be known as an expert. These days, there are plenty of experts. You need to have the relationships with the media, so they call you first.
This is the strategy I have adopted in Indy. While I don’t have contacts across the country, I have worked hard to be a valuable resource to writers at the IBJ and the star. The result, I get lots of calls for “filler” when they write about small business owners or social media.
Sometimes, the writers will quote me directly, as in the story about Radius. The writer, Chris O’Malley called me for a counter point tot the claims of the company he was interviewing. In other cases, they are looking for a company in a particular industry, and I get to suggest a friend or client.
The great misconception is that PR is free. It may not cost money, but it does cost time to create the reputation and relationships to get your story told.
Need some help telling yours? Contact Roundpeg, an Indianapolis Public Relations firm.