What to do when the media doesn't pick up your press release
Medium is a site that allows you to publish your own content on a simple and beautifully-designed platform. This is just one of many options to tell your own story when the media doesn't pick up your press release.
No matter how long you've worked in PR, this has probably happened to you: after going through the effort to create a newsworthy pitch and put together a relevant media list, you don’t receive a single pick up from the media.
However, there are still plenty of ways to put that news release into good use. Here are five:
1. Act like a human
Especially when coming from a smaller company, you have to put in a little extra effort to make yourself stand out from the rest. If your emails aren’t getting attention, pick up the phone. If the reporter isn’t interested, politely ask why. If you can’t turn your release into a published article or blog post, at least learn from it.
2. Shoot for page 2
“It's better to be on page 2 in the editorial than on page 7 as an advertisement,” David Ciccarelli quotes in this Moz article. Don’t go for the big feature, just focus on getting a quote from one of your company’s experts on a “page 2” story. If you can’t make it on the big sites, go for the smaller ones. There are hundreds of blogs and small news sites that will gladly take your story, if pitched properly.
3. Be your own storyteller
You don’t have to depend on a journalist to get your story out to the public. Instead of just sending out news releases, put together personalized pitches with an offer of guest posting on a few key sites in your industrywith a unique angle just for them. You can also sign up to post on free community sites like Medium, Blogher, Lucky Magazine, Pick the Brain and dozens more that allow you to upload your own relevant article to publish.
4. Leverage social media
One of the easiest ways to get the word out about your news release is through social media. Monitor Twitter for tweets that could relate to your story. Reach out to journalist through Google+ groups and create a special Twitter list to make it easy to interact with them on a daily basis. Spruce up your news release by creating a storify board to share with journalists and fans, like this one I created for Havahart.
5. Think outside the box
Get creative and turn that text-heavy news release into something a little more exciting like a video or infographic. Content is king and readers crave visuals, so dish out a different kind of news release with a graphic twist. For example, a couple of weeks ago, to cut through the clutter of Halloween pitches, we created this video infographic about Bath Salt Zombies, which was picked up by high authority sites like the Huffington Post.
Keep in mind these tips only work if you have something worthwhile to say. Each company presents unique stories and expertise that only they can contribute; it’s your job as a PR pro to find the best approach to tell your story.
Do you have other ideas for what to do when the media doesn't pick up your press release? Share your tips in the comments below!
Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Business Insider, and Spin Sucks.