Become an earned media darling

Become an earned media darling

We undertake dozens of PR campaigns on behalf of our clients every year. Each campaign — and each client — has a different goal. One may want to change lawmakers’ views on a certain policy issue; another may be looking to get reporters to attend an event that he or she is hosting.

But all clients are looking for one thing to achieve their goals — media coverage. They want to get their spokespeople into the paper or on TV — and to brand those folks as experts in their chosen fields in the process.

Here are three ways to ensure that your media campaign can work for you.

1. Make sure that you have a good story to tell. Reporters and editors are looking for stories that are newsworthy and novel — stories that have real meat behind them.

A new report that finds that kids who study more do better in school? Probably a tough sell.

But if your study of a nationwide sample of 6th graders proves that an additional two hours of studying each night yields an improvement of a full letter grade over the course of a year? Now you’ve got a reporter’s attention.

2. Be ready and available. Reporters receive tens — if not hundreds — of pitches each day. And they may be working on several stories at the same time.

So they may only have five minutes to hear your story. Make those five minutes count. Have your lines ready to go, and do everything you can to accommodate the reporter’s schedule.

A reporter may simply move on to the next interesting pitch if he or she is unable to get a hold of you.

3. Be excited! Don’t sell yourself or your work short. Just as you must sell your idea or your product to a potential client, you have to sell the reporter on your story. A little enthusiasm can help close a sale — and it can help convince the reporter to follow through with an article.

Kristen Thomaselli