Media relations: 4 Reasons It’s Not Working For You [Webinar Primer]By Katy Pollard on October 11th, 2017 | Reading time: 3 minutes
The following is a taste of what you’ll learn later this month (October 24 for our U.K. friends; October 25 for those in North America), when journalist-turned-PR pro Katy Pollard presents her Bulldog webinar, Media Relations: 4 Reasons It’s Not Working For You.
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The PR life can be an unrewarding one sometimes.
You spend hours and hours and days and days working on projects and campaigns, getting pressure from clients and senior staff to get results, only to find that you don’t get a sniff of coverage.
Let me help you.
I trained and worked as a journalist. Now I apply what I learned in the newsroom to my career as a PR pro…and it works: I regularly secure high-profile media coverage for small businesses – many of whom do not have the vast resources that large companies and agencies do.
And I can teach you those tricks.
How to get journalists to stop ignoring you
You’ve carefully crafted a press release or pitch and fired it off. Then you wait…and wait…and wait. Nothing.
Editors and journalists receive hundreds of emails a day. Your pitch has to get through the first hurdle of being noticed before it’s even opened. There are some simple practical tips you can apply to make sure your email doesn’t get lost – and then when it’s opened, to make sure you get a response.
Such as the No. 1 rule: PROOFREAD.
It shouldn’t surprise you that people who write for a living are annoyed by bad writing. So, nail the basics.
Typos, poor grammar, and incorrectly capitalised letters are all culprits. Most people have access to spellcheck these days, but it’s not infallible. Make sure you carefully check all emails before hitting “send”.
Of course, there are some other ways to make sure you pique the interest of that coveted influencer – and we’ll cover these in the webinar.
Why one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to pitches
Some people send blanket emails to many journalists at many different publications at once.
How do you feel when you receive a blast email. Special? As if that person is talking just to you? No, thought not.
In this webinar, I’ll cover why the “spray and pray” approach to press release distribution is perhaps the least effective way to secure coverage.
We’ll also talk about the reason I usually refer to pitching by email and not the phone.
I remember working in a newsroom and having persistent regulars who phoned daily with “stories”. They usually turned out to be rambling, shaggy-dog stories with no newsworthy element at all. As you can imagine, they were treated with the kind of disdain usually reserved for mud.
At best, they were laughed at; at worst, ignored. This sort of person may have had a particularly amazing story one day, however they were not taken seriously, so we will never know. Don’t be that person. Now I’m not saying never call a journalist, just that if you do, don’t be annoying.
Bigger outlets aren’t always better
Yes, big publications and sites feel like the Holy Grail, and I’m sure we’ve all worked with at least one CEO who wants to be in The Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal. And if you want to improve your website’s search rankings, there are 20 top news sites you need to get coverage in.
With the right timing and the right hook, this is very achievable.
However, you shouldn’t forget that bigger outlets aren’t always better. In my webinar, I’ll explain why you need to think about what your goals are and target the outlets that will help you reach them.
How monitoring and measuring can make it all better
Media relations is a fickle thing. Even when it seems like everything’s coming up roses – when you’re hearing back from journalists and being promised headlines – you can never be totally sure.
You need to monitor the media and measure your coverage.
Monitoring the media to see when and where your organization appears will give you the numbers you need to know if your media outreach is working.
Measuring your coverage and analysing it will tell you whether or not the mentions are good, whether or not your message is getting across clearly.
Both are essential to proving your impact as a PR pro.
But don’t worry if you’re not doing it already – we’ll get into all this in the webinar.
Watch Katy Pollard’s webinar, and learn how to get journalists to stop ignoring you.