PR Tips | Building Your Media Footprint

PR Tips | Building Your Media Footprint

Everyone likes to see his name in the paper. At Keybridge, we specialize in just that — finding ways to get our clients and their messages into the media.

But there’s a lot that folks can do on their own to increase their media footprint. The key is to proactively present yourself as an expert in your chosen field. You have important things to say! But reporters won’t know that unless you tell them.

Here are two things you can do. First, sign up for the free HARO (Help A Reporter Out) service. Reporters submit queries to HARO seeking sources for the stories they’re writing. Then, three times a day, HARO sends its subscribers an email with all those queries.

Perhaps a reporter working on a story on home prices in Chicago would like to include some examples of recent sales. If you happen to be a real-estate agent in the Windy City, you might be able to provide the anecdotes she’s looking for. Send a quick email to the reporter with your bona fides and a description of the information you can provide, and you just might land an interview.

Second, set up a few Google Alerts on issues, topics, and keywords important to you. Google Alerts put the search engine to work for you by automatically delivering search results to your inbox. You can even filter those results so that you only receive news stories, blog posts, or videos with your keywords in them.

So if the Chicago Tribune publishes an article on rising foreclosure rates in the city — and you, our savvy real-estate agent, have set up a Google Alert for “Chicago real estate” — you’ll know about the piece right away.

Then, you can shoot a quick email to the reporter who wrote the story, offering yourself as an expert source for any future articles he or she may do on the topic.

Or perhaps you have a good idea for a follow-up story — one that could feature contributions from you, of course. Share that idea! Maybe the uptick in foreclosure rates has caused many more first-time homebuyers than normal to enlist your aid in finding deals for them. If you have some data on that trend, you may have another story on your hands.

One final caveat — be judicious and courteous when contacting reporters. You don’t want to be branded a spammer or an annoyance.

But if you’re able to make reporters’ lives easier by offering them expert content — and newsworthy, topical leads for articles — you may be rewarded with your name in the paper.

Robby Schrum