Helpful ways to set your company apart for reporters
Reporters literally have thousands of new press releases that come through the fax machines daily. How can you make sure your press release is newsworthy and will obtain the media attention you are seeking? Since you have a lot of companies to compete against, not just those in your particular industry, you will need to write press releases that will set your company apart from all of the various other press releases they are getting. What do you need to do in order to make your press release stand out from the rest and inspire the media member to write a story? Here are the things you need to do in order to set your company apart for reporters:
1. Become memorable. A great way to encourage media members to cover news stories about your business is to become a memorable organization. You will need to engage them in a conversation when you see them at events and other things. Your goal should be to build relationships with the media members so they will be inclined to cover news stories about your company.
2. Keep it light. Don't send them multiple press releases, emails, and phone calls. You need to keep it light with reporters because becoming too aggressive will cause them to ignore you. Busy reporters already have other things they are focusing on so they don't want to get 10 emails from you in 3 days. Instead you want to call them a couple days after sending the press release and start up a conversation with them that will cause them to think and have immediate interest in your company. Asking questions is a great way to engage a reporter in a conversation but you need to be careful about calling them an asking a bunch of questions when you know they have a deadline looming.
3. Know their deadlines. Part of setting your company apart for reporters also focuses on knowing the deadlines of your reporters. You want to empathize with reporters to know that they have a deadline and you aren't trying to make them late. If you don't know when the deadline is, you may end up sending a press release too late or an email may be ignored because they just don't have time for it. One way to show them you respect their time is to call and ask if you are calling at a good time. They may ask you to call back in an hour or two or the next day after they complete their other stories.
4. Engage them. To get a reporter to pay attention to your company, you must find a way to engage them. You must know the reporter you are pitching to along with their publication in order to write in a style that is unique to them. The more you learn about them, the easier it will be for you to use the right writing style and words to engage them and to get the news coverage you are seeking.
5. Have answers. When you send out a press release and it actually gets attention from the news media, you need to be responsive. Write down a few things that you know they will ask so it can help you stay on track when you are responding to the reporters. Make sure your website has the answers the reporters may be seeking as they are trying to learn more about your company, products, and services. The more information you can put out there, the easier it will be for the media members to cover a story.