Think like an editor
Grabbing press coverage - the last, and most important, piece of the jigsawThere's lots and lots of fantastic advice already available on the web describing how to get press coverage. No point in my regurgitating it.
What I would like to do is provide that last piece of the jigsaw that everyone seems to have overlooked. Strange, because it is critical to success.
Why is it overlooked? Because it is so obvious. It used to be known as not seeing the wood for the trees.
The secret is to THINK LIKE AN EDITOR.
PR companies often confuse the issue by being active rather than productive. They measure success in the volume of press releases, rather than placing articles in the right journals.
Successful marketers and copywriters already 'think like their reader'. It's second nature. To place PR copy, though, we need to go that extra step and think like an editor.
Picture yourself, a hard pressed, stressed-out editor with tight deadlines. Your email in-basket is full of irrelevant sales puff vying for editorial coverage, when what you need is a story or news. You want a headline that will grab your readers - something that sings out: Now that is interesting.
So, unless you are an IBM, that new appointment to your company board, the fact that you are exhibiting at a trade exhibition, the fact that you have closed another deal, launched a new product, moved offices, simply doesn't measure up.
You need to make it measure up
Let me give you an example. I am based in the UK and a small company (less than 10 people) in Birmingham specialising in security was moving offices and asked for coverage. To raise profile of the event, they invited the Mayor of Birmingham to cut the tape.
News? No way. Small company moves across town? Mayor opens news offices (on his way to opening a supermarket and visiting a local kindergarten for photo opportunities)?
To get coverage, we dug deeper and constructed a story. As they specialised in security, perhaps the new building was the most secure in the city? In fact, they were able to demonstrate a security device that within seconds could fill a room with 'smoke' - disabling an intruder (hey, a potential visual element). A quick phone call to the West Midlands Police provided all the statistics we needed on increased business break-ins over the last year (saving the editor or journalist having to do the research).
Now we really did have a story. It gained huge features in the local press and a significant slot on BBC TV (plus all the inevitable spill-over into international cable TV).
Bottom line: Give editors a really valuable gift. A story. News. Where you have done all the groundwork, supplied the angle and all the backup statistics.