49 Surprising Tips for Getting Attention in Mass Media
Everyone wants to get noticed. And everyone wants attention.
Well, why are we trying the same old, tired techniques?
When you’re trying to gain media attention it’s important to stand out. If you’re exactly like everyone else, why would anyone care to cover you?
Find your unique voice and own it.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to repeat what works for others, but find your own spin on that approach.
Below are 49 unconventional, yet effective, approaches for getting attention in mass media.
1. Spot an information gap
Find an information gap for a particular reporter (Hint: Read other reporters’ accounts as well.)
2. Hire an editor
Hire an editor or outside contractor with experience editing. Treat each email like you would a blog post, brand page, etc.
3. A/B test subjects
A/B test subject headings when pitching several reporters and editors. Take notice of who replies given which headings.
4. Revisit a local story
Locals, already familiar with a topic, may be interested to hear follow-up stories.
5. Target industry-specific reporters
Target reporters who regularly cover your niche, and contact them for direct quotes for a story that you’re writing.
6. Find something in common
Find a common bond, doing an image (or reverse image) search for their name to possibly unearth pictures of them doing hobbies or pictures they’ve used in their pieces.
7. Place deposits before reaching out
Don’t (just) follow a reporter before you make an outreach attempt. Make (at least) two sentiments of interest (follow the reporter on Twitter and comment on a post of theirs) before writing an outreach email.
8. Pitch warm leads
Pitch a follow-up or annual study to those who have previously covered you or your business.
9. Take it old school
Send a written letter as outreach rather than email, place it in a larger envelope and include pictures and graphs to supplement your insight—be different!
10. Support your claims
Find (at least) three supporting articles (from respected sources) to support your own arguments or position for credibility purposes.
11. Take a unique stance
Make a counterargument regarding a reporter or organization’s opinion; even if a reporter does not agree, they may want to include a counterpoint in a follow-up story.
12. Run a contest
Consider changing the name of your business, service, or popular product, and get consumers involved in the process via a contest.
13. Follow ongoing stories
Take interest in ongoing stories with two or more reporters contributing. You’ll be more likely to offer something one (or the others) find intriguing.
14. Don’t just rely on Google alerts
Use another alert system, besides Google, to stay on top of stories and particular reporters.
15. Create an authority perception
Include links to prior articles you’ve written (or been referenced in) along with your email signature during the initial outreach to express authority.
16. Reply promptly
Don’t keep an interested reporter waiting; get back to them within the hour.
17. Play to your strengths
If you’re a better speaker than writer, consider uploading a YouTube video rather than write, yet explain (in the body of the email) why you rather include a video link.
18. Provide another point of view
Include quotes of a friend or colleague who has a counterpoint to your argument. Both parties may get coverage.
19. Be generous by linking
Along with a written thank you, get digital and thank them with a link.
20. Maintain ongoing contact
Making contact (email, tweet, blog comment) once each month.
21. Get eyes on your email
22. Keep things professional
Avoid Facebook stalking or informal gestures on Twitter.
23. Set them up with someone else
If you think an influencer in your niche (has already) answered a reporter’s present query, do the work for the former party and send the reporter a link to quotes or works along with contact information.
24. Send them a doll
Send a personalized bobblehead doll as a memorable "thank you" sentiment.
25. Make a donation
Make a donation in the name of the reporter or media outlet in appreciation for coverage or ongoing contact.
26. Take it to Pinterest
Make a Pinterest board filled with insights regarding a particular topic, and refer reporters to your curated effort.
27. Create a unique landing page
Filled with information to supplement your initial information, especially if you have a lot of information to relay.
28. Use Twitter lists
Create a Twitter list of people who can help a reporter with a query.
29. Use a unique hashtag
Create a hashtag to support a reporter’s active and ongoing query or topic of interest.
30. Use Twitter chats
Interview a reporter or editor via a Twitter chat.
31. Don’t just use influencers
Don’t only use "influencers" for roundup or mass opinion posts; those with a limited number of followers are (more) likely to appreciate the attention.
32. Get creative
If you’re a graphic artist, or an in-house designer, consider creating a political cartoon to illustrate a point rather than write an argument or opinion.
33. Take your data visual
Ask influencers to contribute to an ongoing collage of data, tables, and other varieties of visual information.
34. Make a thank you page
Create a thank you page of particular followers who express extra interest in your posts, tweets, insights, etc.
35. Talk in benefits
Make sure you address how your information benefits the reporter’s readers.
36. Tap into BuzzSumo
Use BuzzSumo to find the most-shared content and to identify influencers.
37. Focus on the intro of your email
Spend most of your time on the opening three-to-four sentences of the outreach email.
38. Be a good listener
Establish that you’re a good listener, relaying previous opinions and work of reporters.
39. Be thankful
Thank the reporter for their time (even if you don’t hear back from them). It’s a sentiment of respect (as well as a subtle reminder!)
40. Think in arcs
Show the reporter you’re savvy about where a story has been and (especially) where it’s going. Reporters look for arcs, so you should too.
41. Be patient
Wait to respond to a query you can truly contribute toward—first impressions count.
42. Care about the relationship first
Focus on building a relationship with a reporter more than being covered for a story.
43. Ask questions
Ask questions in comments and using tweets rather than only sharing a reporter’s story.
44. Use an analogy
Use an analogy to support your position or argument (perhaps using a hobby or interest of the reporter).
45. Leverage line spacing
Use spacing in your email, especially between major points.
46. Be confident
Be confident with your writing voice; you are asking for inclusion in a story, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re doing something for the reporter too.
47. Be aware of deadlines
Reporters work with deadlines; let them know that you’re available for a follow up whenever they’re ready.
48. Keep an email chain going
When following up with a reporter, use the same email chain (for their convenience) rather than starting a new string.
49. Get better at outreach
Get better at outreach, reading related literature and being inquisitive about reporter and editor preferences.
This article was written by Cam Secore from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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