Seven top tips for mastering the media

Tuesday 2 October 2018

How to engage with the media and maximise your 'earnt' coverage.

7 steps to mastering media.
courtesy of Simon Hall and a bit of spin from Chamber member Andy Rice of Giggabox

Everyone's talking about social media. How do you maximise your likes? What are the most engaging blogs? How do you maximise your LinkedIn contact base? Ironically the marketing community never got together half as much as they do these days - to discuss social media I can't knock the platform I'm publishing on, but I agree with former BBC journalist Simon Hall that there's something special about 'earnt' media coverage. It's been through a filter of credibility (in most cases), its past the test of journalistic integrity- it carries more weight, and therefore your message resonates with more impact.

And it's not as tough to earn column inches, airtime, or even film seconds, as you might think.

Here's my seven step guide to getting your press release published or your story picked up by the broadcast media - with content, entirely credited to Simon (@simonhallnews)

1. Find an angle: think about the corporate message you want to convey, and then think about how you can present this in the most compelling way. How can you give it an emotional connection? Tie it into a local event? Or a national trend? How can you present it so that it interests the reader, listener or viewer? It's not about 'you' at this stage, it's about entertaining or informing 'them'- the audience. All journalists will ask, "why is this relevant to my audience/ is it topical?/ how will it change their world?"

2. Consider the Audience. If you are crafting a press release for a B2B trade or Chamber magazine, it will have a different angle and tone to the one you craft for your local B2C newspaper or radio station.

3. Craft your press release properly. Journalists have short attention spans and are short of time.
a. Come up with an impactful headline (use this as your email subject line): crow cryptic; the power of puns; alluring alliteration
b. Come up with a 'Top line': 20 words which will really grab the audience's attention- put them in bold.
c. Use the 'Pyramid Structure'- Put the most important stuff in the first three paragraphs (Facts- Who, what, where, why, how, when). Then add additional information (include quotes- tap into passion/ feelings). In the final paragraphs add some colour.
d. Include your contact detail and a bit about the business at the end.

4. Add a great photograph. Make it as creative as possible. Smartphone on HD will be sufficient. Or even video. Simon's advice is to consider adding video "It's really worth getting involved with video- it's really impactful".

5. Check it.

6. Send as email, not as a word doc in an email - just go straight in. Ideally on a slow news day. The afternoon is better than the morning. Weekends sometimes work well. Don't worry about using the same release for different media, but amend for different audiences.

7. Follow up. It's worth a call to check if the journalist needs any more information. Do your best to build a relationship of value over time. But don't be a stalker Think about organising an event. Journalists love a free beer and a canape.

Nothing to worry about there then. Give it a go. The media has an avaricious appetite for news. You just need to make your news 'tasty'. Good luck.

Forthcoming Events

July 16 2019 6:00PM / 6.00-10.00pm
Cambridge Quiz
July 17 2019 5:00PM / 5.00-7.00pm
Summer Social & BBQ - Peterborough
July 18 2019 / 5.00-7.00pm
Informal Networking Evening Cambridge
July 24 2019 6:00PM / 6.00-9.00pm
Fenland Quiz and Hog Roast
August 9 2019 2:00PM / 2.00 - 4.00pm
Summer Garden Party
September 2 2019 / 5.00-7.00pm
Informal Networking Evening Huntingdon
September 4 2019 / 5.00-7.00pm
Informal Networking Evening Stamford