6 top ways to get busy journalists to cover your brand

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Analysis, Public Relations

In one day, reporters and editors receive over 50 emails. To get coverage or generate interest, your pitch needs to add value, be timely and you need to follow up properly.

Whether you are looking to get interviews for your spokesperson, feature on a community news website or more editorial opportunities for your seasonal campaigns, here are some ways you can pitch your brand to generate interest from busy reporters.

1. Send a listicle pitch on a significant holiday

Want to raise more awareness about your brands Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or other significant holiday campaigns? Send a listicle pitch with a roundup of top four or five story ideas with the details on your brand’s campaign.

Busy reporters and editors covering local news and lifestyle are always looking for story ideas. Sending listicle pitches to these media contacts is an easy way to inquire about editorial opportunities. In most cases, if the listicle pitches are intriguing, sometimes the editor of a community paper or website will get you to write the story as a contributed piece.

2. Interject with journalists writing about a specific beat

If your brand is in the consumer food, tech or retail space, in addition to growing your media list through media monitoring, also make a habit of regularly interjecting with the reporters that cover those beats.

For example, during your media monitoring, you come across a reporter writing about the state of retail landscape during the pandemic, consider reaching out to the reporter and telling them how much you enjoyed their story. Also, let the reporter know that the president of your company is available to speak to them should they be interested in covering this topic again. Interjections like this not only grow your media list, but also builds rapport with the reporter, which can later lead to them reaching out to you for another story.

3. Send a pitch on a specific industry-wide celebration

Is your brand in the retail or food space? Is your industry celebrating Small Business Week in May or Convenience Store Week in September? Consider sending out a pitch highlighting why small businesses matter and how they serve the community they’re in.

Specialized pitches focusing on specific industry-wide celebrations not only provide another story angle to reporters and editors, but it’s also an easier way to get some coverage for your brand. Reporters and editors are always looking for new news hook, and specialized pitches like these help them out because it gives them a direction to take their story.

4. Send a media advisory offering your brand ambassador for interviews

Did your brand partner with an influencer for a holiday or a summer campaign? Are you pitching the influencer as a brand ambassador? Consider sending out a media advisory highlighting when the brand ambassador is available for interviews and what topics they can talk about.

A media advisory is used to invite reporters to cover an event or an interview. If your brand has specific spokespeople available for interviews, send a media advisory to the appropriate reporters with the details. A media advisory is also a great way to be clear about the date of the interview and topics for discussion with the spokesperson such as the brand ambassador. Also, media advisories are timely, so the chances of generating interest from appropriate reporters are high.

5. Send a pitch highlighting how your brand is managing a specific industry-wide issue

Did the sales at your company’s retail stores plummet during the heightened COVID-19 restrictions? Is your company implementing any specific safety measures to welcome customers at its retail stores during the pandemic? Consider issuing a pitch note to reporters covering business or local news highlighting what challenges the company has faced and how it has managed to navigate them.

Stories of companies thriving (or trying to thrive) despite economic challenges make for great news angles. When drafting your pitch, mention what your company does, the challenges it has faced during the pandemic, the solution it has found to deal with that problem and also how it has given back to the community despite facing challenges. When you draft the pitch this way, you offer the reporters several story angles to consider for their piece.

6. Follow up with email or phone after a pitch or press release distribution

After distributing a timely press release or a pitch, make sure to follow up with the appropriate reporter or editor by email or phone.

To increase the chances of getting coverage, follow ups are essential. With reporters and editors receiving so many emails every day, following up by phone or email allows you to check their interest in covering your pitch. Also, sometimes when you follow up, journalists will let you know which one of their colleagues would be interested in your pitch. Furthermore, when following up by email, try to be clear and specific by writing in the subject line “FOLLOW UP” before the original email subject line you used.

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Samiha Fariha
Samiha Fariha is a Senior Consultant in the Brand Marketing Practice at FleishmanHillard HighRoad, where she works to help provide communications counsel to wide variety of clients in financial services, optical retail, home devices and appliances. Follow Samiha on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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