Selling your organization's story to the media involves a combination of both art and science. It's an art because you have to find a creative way to capture the attention of people who are bombarded with similar messages on a daily basis. How your message is crafted is also important, so design is key.
The scientific part is nothing new to selling. Selling is a numbers game, and the more qualified people you contact, the better the chance of getting your message out there.
So...what can you do to increase media coverage for your company?
1) Do your research. Figure out who you'd like to reach, then contact the editors of media outlets and publications who cater to this demographic. For example, if you produce a cool new line of outdoor furniture suitable for cottagers, contact publications geared to cottage owners to see if they might do a feature article or review on your furniture. You could also contact your local TV station to see if they might cover your product on a morning show. Keep in mind that many media outlets plan for events well in advance, so get in there early to be sure your message is a timely and seasonal one.
2) Tell an engaging story. Everyone loves a good story, including the media. A well told story that has both rational and emotional appeal will catch the eye of the media. Let them know why your story would be of interest to their readers, and how it would help them maintain their profile as providers of innovative and engaging content.
3) Look into both traditional and non-traditional forms of media. Today, virtually everyone offers online editions of print publications, and if someone doesn't publish your story in print, they may well accommodate in their online edition.
4) Get to the right person. Journalists are very busy people. If you sell design services, don't bother the editor of an antiques magazine. Unless you design a cool new system for antique dealers.
5) Make it personal. How has your product or service impacted your life (or the lives of others), and why would it interest someone else's audience?
6) Be persistent. Calvin Coolidge once said that nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Selling a story is a numbers game, and the more times up to bat, the better the chance of scoring that home run.
7) Don't forget to follow up. The world is littered with people who take great pains to design campaigns, and then don't follow up.
So go out there - and sell your story. Let your voice be heard!
What techniques have you used to successfully sell your story to the media? What worked - and what didn't? Why?