The Do's & Don'ts Of Getting Media Coverage | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

The Do’s & Don’ts Of Getting Media Coverage

My favorite magazine, and one my favorite people, Lisa Picarelle – editor/publisher, wrote a great blog the other day about the do’s and dont’s of how to how to get coverage of your company in her magazine.

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This is powerful information that applies, I think, to all media, not just magazines. On getting coverage in Revenue Magazine.

The most common question asked of me is, “when are you going to write an article about my company/product/service/me?” I must have heard that inquiry at least 100 times during the recent Affiliate Summit in Miami.

My very frank answer is usually “never” since we don’t do stories on specific companies. Instead Revenue covers broad ranging industry issues and timely topics. This response usually is met with a look of shock – sometimes outrage – but mostly shock and disappointment.

If you take away anything from this blog, here’s the most important thing to remember: Being an advertiser with the publication does not entitle you or your company to editorial coverage or in any way influence our editorial decision-making process. Revenue adheres to strict policies that separate advertising and editorial.

Lisa then goes into detailed “do’s and don’ts”. Powerful, informative stuff. A must-read.

The Don’ts

*Don’t contact (email/call/fax) the editorial department and demand they write about you or your company because you advertise with Revenue. That makes absolutely no difference to the editorial folks. In fact, it just irritates them.

*Don’t propose a story that focuses only on your company and why it’s so great/different/unique. We don’t write those types of stories.

*Don’t contact the editorial department and volunteer to write an article. We do not accept story submissions. We only use professional, full-time journalists to help ensure the objectivity of our stories.

*Don’t propose yourself or your boss or a colleague as a columnist. We currently have five permanent columnists (and one rotating one) and they are not going away anytime soon. Nor are we planning to upset our editorial balance of features and opinion by adding more opinion columns.

*Don’t call an editor to follow up on a press release you sent. That is the fastest way to have your information go straight to the trash pile or have the delete key used on your email. If something is interesting to an editor, you’ll hear back from them. They are always on the lookout for new ideas. Often your emails are filed away for future stories. Be patient.

The Do’s

*Do propose yourself as an expert in a particular field or on specific issues. When we write about those topics you may get a call. Also, it’s much better for your company’s reputation to have you quoted and ultimately seen as an expert or industry leader.

*Do subscribe to our monthly newsletter. That’s where we inform you about stories we’re working on and invite you to contact our editor about a particular feature so we might get in touch with you and possibly include your comments as we begin researching and writing our articles. This is the best way to get included in a story!! You can also check out the “what we are working on” link on our website.

*Do save the self-promotional/public-relations-type quotes for your press releases. If a Revenue writer contacts you and you use the interview time as a promotion for your own company rather than discussing the broader issues, it’s likely your quotes will not make it into the final story.

*Do offer to provide tips (rumors/gossip/hot news) about the industry. Nothing warms the heart of a journalist like getting a scoop. It also helps promote you as someone in the know and that means that next time there is a big story, you are likely to get a call since you’ve established yourself as an industry insider.

*Do propose story ideas that are broader than your company. For example, sending an email saying that you’ve noticed specific trends or market shifts is very interesting to our editorial staff. And, since you highlighted that trend, you’re most likely to get the first call. Of course, don’t be upset that your competitors are also likely to be interviewed. That’s how we get a comprehensive picture of what’s happening when developing a story.

*Do know some basics about the magazine before contacting an editor. We are bi-monthly so our editorial team is working on stories months in advance of the publication date. That means calling on a Friday and asking us to write a news story about a product or service that will come out Monday is not going to happen. It’s also not the nature and mission of the magazine.

*Do have a story to tell and be prepared. It’s much more compelling if you can provide proof (research, stats, ROI numbers, conversion figures, etc.) to back up any claims you are making. Also, it adds credibility to have a client reference. If Wal-Mart, Target, Dell or any third-party company uses your products or services and are willing to talk about their experience – that is great. Whatever they say will carry more weight with editors since you are paid to say good things about your company and they are not.

*Do keep in mind deadlines. Editors are often working on multiple issues of the magazine simultaneously and don’t have time simply to meet and greet or have introductory lunches or dinners. Usually, when editors speak with you it’s for a specific story since their time and resources are extremely limited.

Listen to what Lisa is saying. You just might find yourself getting more coverage for your company across the board.

Any other journalists out there want to chime in on this?

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