This guest blog comes from JournoRequests. Their software helps companies big and small get huge media coverage.
Press coverage can be a huge game changer for your business. Whether you’re looking for a bump in SEO, a spike in sales, or simply to launch yourself into the public domain, carefully targeted press can do that ten times over.
Choose your targets
We send out hundreds of requests every week from big name journalists, local press and bloggers looking for people, experts and businesses to feature in their stories. Although publications like The Times and Daily Mail get huge circulations and can be really powerful, your local magazine or paper could do even more depending on your business. Working out where your customers hang out, and what they read, is an essential prerequisite to approaching journalists.
Be ready for them
Once you know which journalists you’re looking for, Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool. Almost all of them use it to find sources, share their email addresses and look for ideas. We collect tweets from #journorequest and other similar tags, filter out the spam, and sort them into categories and opportunity size. Being on our mailing list is free and will save you spending time trawling Twitter. Approaching journalists and trying to convince them to write about your business is far harder than being ready to put your hand up when they come looking for you. You just have to be ready when they do. Have high resolution and web-ready images available, as well as catchy quotes and any links they’ll need.
Image credit: StockSnap
A lot of journalists display their email on their personal website, in the publication they write for or in their twitter bio so it’s always worth sending them a speculative personalised email too. If it’s not in their bio try searching their tweet history with their handle and the word email (e.g. “@journorequests email”). That way if they’ve ever tweeted it to someone in the past you’ll find it. The most important thing is to keep your email message short and to the point, and remember to always ask yourself “what’s in it for them?”. They’re looking for interesting angles that will, ultimately, attract readers. If your story isn’t something you could visualise as a headline that grabs your attention looking over someone’s shoulder on the tube then you need to rephrase.
Responding to emails and tweets as quickly as possible is hugely important. The media these days moves unbelievably fast and you have to keep up! For online press especially, a journalist will often be given a brief, write the piece, and publish all in the same day. Being on hand to give quotes, images, and inspiration could be the difference between being included in the story or replaced. Keep an eye on your Twitter feed, or JournoRequest emails, as regularly as possible to bag those big stories.