Do reporters know your company name but nothing about your organization? Are you tired of only being mentioned in articles when your competition is being quoted and getting all of the ink? Here are six tips to help transform your company from one that gets mentioned to one with top billing in a full feature spread.
Be engaging and personable so others will remember you
Take some time to think about your business and how it fits into the industry’s or world’s big picture. How are the reporter’s readers personally affected by the decisions your company makes on a day-to-day basis? Be engaging and answer the reporter’s questions with personal and relatable anecdotes, not just cold stats. Did your business start from humble beginnings or did you have to overcome great obstacles? Did you crash and burn the first time? Reporters love that stuff.
Be relevant and timely.
Jump on a current trend or hot topic, such as the market slow down or the explosion of mobile devices. Maybe your business is helping other companies or individuals not only survive but thrive in today’s market. What are you doing to make others better off? Edgy and unique ideas that look at problems and solutions in whole new ways make for interesting and engaging topics.
Know your material. Know your business. Know your reporter.
If you are the company’s spokesperson, you’re probably well versed when it comes to talking about your company, but are you equally knowledgeable about your industry? How about the last five articles the reporter wrote? Do you know where s/he stands on the issues affecting your industry? Knowing your subject matter and knowing the reporter’s biases, style, etc., makes all the difference.
Don’t just wait for a reporter to call. Reporters are busy people and welcome story ideas. Your publicist can help you strategize and determine what makes a great story and which reporters are likely to bite on your ideas.
Be succinct and to the point.
Don’t ramble. Get to the point and always have materials/resources on hand. Reporters are busy. The more relevant information and resources you can give them to make their job easier, the better.
If your publicist pitches an idea for a feature article and a reporter wants to talk to you—or if a reporter calls you out of the blue—jump on it fast. It’s all about relationships. You want to represent yourself as easy to work with and quick to respond. Remember, the reporter’s next call may be to your top competitor.
If you want top billing that separates your company from the crowd, be proactive and be prepared when your publicist calls you with an opportunity. If you’re lucky enough that a reporter searches you out and wants to include you in a story, jump on it!