5 tips for leveraging press to get more press
After you’ve completed your happy dance and called your mom to tell her you were in your newspaper/TV/trade publication/radio station, the real work begins. You see, after you get press, there’s a golden opportunity to use that press to get more press. You might think–why would I send a journalist someone else’s work and then expect him or her to write about me? That’s like bringing an ex along on a date, right?
Or is it?
Securing press lends “social proof” which, for our purposes, let’s define as something that lends credibility to a brand making it easier to gain trust and generate and convert leads.
Here are five easy strategies you can use to leverage the press you’ve received and turn into more press for yourself or your client:
1. Use press from one medium to get press in a different medium. If you’ve secured coverage on a radio station, why not leverage that into a TV spot? You can use the radio clip to showcase that you (or your client) are eloquent and prepared and, if the clip was well-received/shared often, use real numbers to show how there’s a demand for this topic and speaker. A journalist knows that changing the medium can truly create a new story out of the same story.
Additionally, did your business receive a ranking? Perhaps you were #45 on a Fastest-Growing Companies list. What does that ranking signify when it comes to your industry? What does the number say that the editorial component of the ranking didn’t report? What doesn’t the ranking take into account that is important? Every story has the potential to be an even better story when put into the right hands.
Pro tip: Have high-res photos + b-roll + relevant items for on-set propping to offer up to journalists and producers. Visuals (breadth or lack of) can make or a break a story. At the very least, it will make a journalist’s life easier and that’s always good.
2. Use local press to secure national press and national press to secure local press. Did you get featured in your local newspaper? Use that clipping as part of a broader pitch focused on how the local piece ties into something currently in the national dialogue (sometimes called “Newsjacking”). For example, if you were featured locally as a food marketer, you can use that piece as proof of your expertise in a pitch centered on Michelle Obama’s recent proposal to limit junk-food marketing in schools. In other words, use a piece that showcases your subject-matter expertise as proof that you can be counted on for a topic that’s become hot news.
Alternately, were you featured in national press (like Today, for example)? Let your local paper know! My virtual pal Brooke from “Brooke Not On a Diet” was featured in Woman’s Day magazine recently. Her local news and newspaper then came knocking on her door and did stories on how this “hometown girl” was featured nationally for her weight-loss story.
3. Don’t underestimate the value of coverage in trade/industry media. Trade publications are a great resource for journalists who want to get in on the nitty gritty of an industry before the news hits the mainstream. I remember an attorney I worked with wrote a piece on the Fair And Accurate Credit Transaction Act (“FACTA”) for a small local trade publication. His quote in this piece ended up in the Wall Street Journal because we pitched a story on how this law, which lay people hadn’t heard about, could be part of larger story geared to a business audience. It worked!
4. Use a feature piece to inspire another angle. Perhaps you were featured in a trend story pertaining to young entrepreneurs in tech start-ups. You can use that piece as social proof in a pitch for a profile, live-in, news feature and/or human interest story.
5. Relationship building. Securing press is one step to creating a lasting relationship with a journalist. Stay on the radar of a journalist who has covered your or your client (don’t be too pesky though; always ask yourself how you can provide value to him or her before you touch base. If there’s no value-add, don’t reach out). Lastly, don’t be afraid to check in after six months or so to see if a journalist who has covered you or your client would be interested in a follow-up piece (if there are newsworthy developments to report).
The above 5 tips should really help you get the most bang out of your earned media and I should know–I’ve been doing PR for lean start-ups with zero PR budget.