Tuesday, 26 March 2013

10 tips for making relationships with the press

I've had the pleasure of being asked by the West Berkshire Athena Network to talk to three of the district's groups on how to get your name featured in the press.

I thought I'd share my tips here. They may sound obvious, but they should help!

1. Get to know your trade publications and local press. Make sure you’re familiar with them and know their style. Buy your local paper and take five minutes to read it! You'd be surprised at how many people demand coverage and then don't even know if their story has gone in!

2. Find journalists from your target publications and interact with them on twitter.

3. Know the deadlines. Call your target publication taking care to avoid deadlines! Make sure you speak to the right person and ask them if they'd be interested in your story. Keep to the point as busy journalists are likely to ask you to email them something with all the relevant details.

4. Once you've written a press release (which should definitely not be more than two pages), run it by someone else to check as you’d be astonished by some of the mistakes that can creep in. Cough cough...I can do this for you....

5. It doesn’t just have to be press releases. You can respond to relevant news stories, write tip sheets, reply to the letters page, distribute your own regular newsletter, write a blog, announce things on Twitter.

6. Look out for journalists who are looking for case studies and experts perhaps on the newspaper’s twitter feed or specific forums. Reply swiftly, not a week later!

7. Adopt a charity.

8. Keep an eye out for those weird and wonderful “national days” that make a useful hook for your business.

9. Make sure everything you send is accompanied by a good quality photo.

10. Little and often. Don’t expect one release to change everything; keep going and ensure you get something published little and often.


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