The Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle and abcnews.com are just a few of the impressive media outlets in which one client found herself featured this week. So how did we do it? How did we secure these high-level media placements that all clients want to achieve? In these cases, the main reason: content.
As my friend and client Steve Siebold says, “If I don’t feed the beast, he can’t do his job.” So true.
The publicist is an expert in publicity but not usually an expert in your field, so pitching the media is difficult without content from the client. The best publicist in the world has nothing to work with if the client doesn’t provide this vital resource. This very basic concept of generating media coverage is overlooked by so many people. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons for poorly performing media campaigns.
If you’re working with a publicist, make sure your publicist has the information necessary to generate the media coverage you deserve. Without it, he or she is not going to get very far. If you’re an author, you are certainly at an advantage, as your publicist has a lot of this information handy (in your book!) But that won’t necessarily help with breaking news or more complex stories.
If you’re trying to do your own media campaign, don’t just tell the media who you are: tell them what you think and know. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge on the topic. This is especially true nowadays, with fewer people doing more work at daily newspapers and online outlets. Reporters don’t have as much time to do interviews, and if you can include your unique perspective in your pitch, many reporters will quote you right from that.
The best way to accomplish this is through bullet points. Tell the reporter who you are, followed by your thoughts on the topic:
- Your first thought
- Your second thought
- Your third thought
- Your fourth thought
Conventional wisdom says short pitches are best. This still stands true in many cases. I personally prefer a longer pitch with more detailed information, which allows the journalist to grab the information for a story. Don’t worry about the length of the pitch. If the journalist likes what you have to say, he or she is not going to be turned off because your pitch is on the longer side.
When pitching the media, remember that content is more than just king. It’s everything – the whole kingdom.