Getting your very first piece of press coverage for your product, service or business is a very exciting moment in your business journey. I still remember my first of press. It marked a pivotal moment in how I saw and felt about my business and my potential. Someone believed in me enough to share my story. But it took me a while to gather up the courage to reach out to press outlets, so I know how daunting the process of getting your first piece of press coverage can be.
Why getting press coverage is important
Getting featured in the press increases your brand’s visibility, raises awareness about your business. And brings you in front of your target audience.
I should point out that whilst press does not always lead to sales (if that is what you are primarily after) it can provide a sense of validation and a morale boost, particularly if it’s from a prestigious publication. You can use the page graphics, quotes, video clips from the feature as testimonials on your website, social platforms and in your marketing materials to help strengthen your reputation amongst your existing customers and attract new ones.
Why it’s important to target the right press
You need to be selective about which publications and platforms are right for your business. Having an editor reach out to you can be flattering and whilst it’s tempting to say yes to every press request opportunity, you do need to take the time to consider if the publication is right for you and your business. Because being featured in the wrong publication could do more harm than good to the reputation you are working so hard to build by confusing your customers about things such as your values and what you stand for. For example, a vegan product line in a meat-focused publication is going to send the wrong message.
Doing your own press
As a start-up you may not have the budget to hire a PR or marketing professional with contacts to get you press. Nor do you need to hire someone at this stage. Securing press coverage is something you can do yourself with the right approach, as the following tips show you.
Tips For Landing Your First Press Coverage
1. Create a plan
Why do you want press? Is it to launch a new business or a new product? Is your press information time-sensitive? Knowing this will help you set deadlines to make sure you get your press release out in time to the right audience.
2. Know your audience.
Building on point 1 who are they, what publications and platforms do they read and visit. Knowing this will help help you zoom in on exactly who you need to get in front off and what platforms will be the right ones to share your message.
3. Don’t just target the well-known publications/platforms.
Smaller publications and those in your niche can have the advantage of bringing you directly in front of a higher percentage of your target audience. i.e. a leading trend-driven lifestyle glossy caters to a much broader audience, than one focusing on sustainable living in urban environments.
4. Research the publications / platforms you‘ve identified.
Go through your list and look to see if your competitors are being featured in them. If they are that is a good sign as it shows an existing interest in businesses like yours. Make a note of the content they publish and tailor your press release to compliment it.
5. Find the name and contact details of the person you need to send your press request to.
One of the reasons press requests fail is because they have been sent to the wrong person or an inappropriate email address. Twitter is a good place to find and get to know journalists and platform owners.
6. Make it easy for the journalist to get the information they need.
Being professional and organised will help you stand out. The best way to do this is to put together a media kit that contains all the information about you, and your business required by a journalist to create a feature. A media kit contains bios, press releases, links, images, captions and so forth saving the journalist valuable time in going back and forth to get what they need. How to create a media kit has more information to guide you through the process and a downloadable checklist
I hope these tips help you and remember getting featured in the press takes time. If you need help crafting your press pitches my video course Pitch Your Way To Visibility is designed to guide you through the process, showing you how to successfully prepare, craft and send your pitch.