Research is the key to earning media mentions, press, and features.
One of the questions I often get when talking with entrepreneurs about pitching the media for free publicity is “How do I know what media outlet to pitch?”
To be honest there is not just one right answer here.
It really depends on YOU and your community, customers, and clients. In this post, I am going to give you a few things to think about before you pitch for free press and publicity and give you a few solid ways to find journalists to pitch.
The first thing you need to think about is what are you trying to achieve with media exposure.
- What is the goal of your media appearance?
- Do you want to increase sales, gain more customers and clients?
- Do you want to grow your list or grow your social media following?
- Do you want to gain influence and credibility?
- Do you want to become a go-to media expert?
You need the answers to these questions. Your approach to the media will be a little bit different depending on what you are hoping to achieve. It is important to know going in. To be honest, you will rarely have an opportunity to sell directly in the press. Journalists are not interested in selling your product, service or book. They are really not interested in having you sell via their show or publication. Journalists are interested in serving their audience and they want stories to be entertaining, enlightening, and/or educational.
Now that you have a better idea of what you want from your media appearances, let’s get down to figuring out where to start pitching.
ASK YOUR COMMUNITY
If you wonder where the best media outlet to be featured in order to reach your customers and clients all you need to do is ask. Ask your current customers and clients where they hang out. What media are they consuming? Find out where your community and tribe gets their news and information.
- What television shows do they watch?
- What radio stations do they listen to?
- What newspapers, magazines, and websites do they read?
How do you go about asking them you might be wondering?
Well, use the avenues you have in front of you. Send out a survey to your email list or create a poll via your Facebook page or group. Ask your tribe via Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Create a list of all the media outlets, shows, publications, blogs, websites and podcasts your community and clients offer up.
Spend some time day-dreaming, imagining all those dreamy, top-tier media outlets, publications, podcasts, and websites you would LOVE to be featured in and on.
Think big here!
DREAM big. Want to be featured on CNN, Time, ABC’s Good Morning America or Huffington Post? Write it all down on your list. Shoot for the stars!
It is important to make a list of places you want to pitch. Once you have a list of media outlets, start looking at who is the best person to pitch. Is it the producer, editor, writer, reporter or assignment editor? Once you have an idea of the position in the newsroom that would be the best to pitch start working on finding the name and contact details of that person. You ultimately want to create a solid spreadsheet with name, title, media outlet, email and/or phone number, the segments that handle and the possible topics you would want to pitch.
Don’t ignore social media. Looking at your social media channels is a great way to find journalists and media outlets to pitch. Start making connections on social media. Twitter is a great place to find journalists who are looking for story ideas and journalists who are looking to connect with thought leaders and experts. The other great thing about connecting with journalists on Twitter is that many of them put their email addresses right in their bio! No searching for contact information anymore, they are giving it to you!
Social media also allows you to get a better understanding of what journalists want and need when it comes to content. You get to see what it is they are sharing and what they are producing. Use social media to listen, watch, and read!