How to Get the Press to Love You
If you’ve ever thought that reporters are key influencers to fame and success, you are onto something. Get them to love you, and you will have ample, favorable press coverage that no money can buy. But get them to hate you, and you’ll struggle.
So in this month’s blog, our public relations team has provided their tips on what it takes to get on the good side of reporters. They should know, as they not only have extensive experience reaching out to the press, but many of them are former industry journalists for publications like MBA NewsLink, Mortgage Banking magazine, Inman News and Mortgage Daily.
Check out what they advise:
“A natural tendency when pitching a story to a reporter or editor is to try to sell the company and its services. During my time as an editor, I would ditch the pitch as soon as I began reading promotional material. Most reporters don’t care about your client, its offerings or how successful it is. What they do care about is a viable story. So keep your pitches straightforward and make them about an issue, not a company. And don’t make the pitch too long, or they’ll likely lose interest.”
Media Relations Specialist
“Put yourself in the reporter’s shoes. Two of a reporter’s biggest challenges are finding new, trustworthy sources and generating fresh story ideas. One of the best things a publicist can do for a reporter is get them in touch with a subject matter expert who helps the reporter think outside the box and generate future ideas for articles they can write.”
“As a publicist, you need to know the mortgage industry and what’s going on in it, not just what your company does. Also, reporters don’t want to be asked, ‘did you get my press release?’ Yes, they got it! That question gets so annoying to reporters. Instead, they’ll appreciate it if you can put your news or angle into perspective as to why their publication should want to write about it, and how it fits into what’s going on in the industry as a whole. Think about how your news makes a great story for the reporter, not a sales piece for your company.”
“I like to get to know reporters personally, so I have a good idea of their area of focus and what sort of news they are most interested in covering. I find out when their deadlines are, whether daily, weekly or monthly, and know not to bother them at those times. And when pitching a reporter or editor a story, I get straight to the point and don’t send lengthy emails that they probably won’t bother reading. My aim is to make journalists’ jobs easier, not more difficult.”
“Before reaching out to a journalist to pitch a story, a little research should be done to make sure you know what they cover. This ensures you’re reaching them on something they might be interested in writing about and not wasting their time. In fact, I find reviewing some of their recent articles for ideas and even mentioning an article as a source of the idea can be very helpful. Journalists generally appreciate that their articles are being read and are more receptive to the story suggestion..”
“Persistence, in moderation. This may sound strange, but it can be effective. When I was a reporter, the story I was working on was always a priority, and emails or phone calls I received about anything else were secondary. So now as a publicist, I know timing and persistence are important. Sometimes out of sight is out of mind, which is why we send well-timed, friendly reminders to the press to make sure our messages get through when reporters are receptive to them.”
Director of Communications
While all this advice may seem simple, pitching is not easy. Getting ongoing publicity throughout the year takes continuous effort and the right approach. That’s why people turn to us for help.
If you’d like to increase your visibility in the press, just let us know. We’ll work tirelessly to get you the kind of publicity that makes companies well-recognized in their field. Just reach out to us at Info@StrategicVantage.com or call (305) 971-6239.