How to Know What Your Industry Journalists Want From You
The secret to getting media pickups from industry journalists is to offer them exactly what they want, which in turn gets you what you want, free publicity and traffic. When it comes to writing a press release or pitching to the media, there are certain essentials you need to provide.
Far too many press releases are sales letters. When writing a release, be sure it is something new and noteworthy. Offer information that puts your company at the center of a trend, or outlines all of the groundbreaking benefits of the product you are launching, or the event that you are going to be hosting. Think informative and interesting.
2-Information that will engage their target audience
A journalist isn’t just looking for information for themselves, but content that speaks to the needs of their target audience. National newspapers will want something with broad appeal. Local papers need content that will interest the people who live in that area. Specialty news sites and blogs will always be on the lookout for niche or industry-related news.
3-Pitches that show you have a clue who they are and what they need
A press release distribution service can get you some media pickups, but with more than 300 being published every day in the US alone, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. A media pitch in which you contact a journalist with an idea for a story could be just what you need to get good media coverage.
However, if you are going to pitch, you can’t use the “cookie cutter” approach and try to send the same ideas to a large number of journalists using the BCC field in your email. Every approach should be individual, short and to the point, telling the journalist, “What’s in it for them?”
4-Pitches that show you’ve done your research
Researching each journalist in your industry before you pitch is an essential step that should not be skipped. You need name, publication, phone number, and email address. But you also need a sense of what they cover.
For example, there are many sports journalists, but which ones cover baseball, which ones football, and so on? You need to read their past work to get a sense of their interests. You can also use this information to get your foot in the door.
For example, you might want to pitch a piece that was similar to one they had already done, but which adds new information. Or, your piece might take the opposite tactic that they did, giving them and their readers a whole new perspective.
Use the 6Ws as a checklist to make sure you have not left out anything:
6-Full contact information
Give all your contact information in case they wish to follow up.
Press releases with images are three times more likely to get picked up than those that don’t have images.
Give them a link to your media page, and to a special landing page where they can learn more about the content in your release or pitch.