Tips for Securing National Media Coverage

“No thanks.”

“Not at this time.”

“I appreciate your persistence, but I’m not interested.”

 

If you’re in PR, you’ve more than likely received a response similar to this from national media journalists. In my five years at Dittoe PR, I’ve heard this, well… too many times to count. While it can be discouraging to get so many rejections about your story idea, especially after you’ve spent hours coming up with the strategy and writing that perfect pitch, a PR professional must never give up. Hearing that “yes” makes the flurry of pitches worth it—for yourself and for your client.

 

National media outreach is often perceived as the most difficult kind of pitching. But if your client’s preferred coverage is a story in Forbes, The Today Show, and USA Today, or if you want to thoroughly impress a new client, you need to know how to become an expert in landing outstanding media hits in national outlets.

 

Using the below tips to secure national media coverage will help to blow your clients out of the water:

 

Do your research.

 

As with all media pitching, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re reaching out to the right journalist. Study their beat. Tailor your pitch to make it about what they typically cover. Personalize the intro of your email by expressing how much you loved their recent article on the best way to earn a college scholarship, and THEN share your story idea about caddying for a full ride to college.

 

My client, Aardvark straws, was interested in national consumer media coverage about their NFL paper straws, as they are the only paper straw company that has the rights to print NFL team logos. I recall finding an editor from Southern Living who had shared that her favorite NFL team was the Dallas Cowboys. Well, did I have the pitch for her! I offered her samples of Aardvark’s Dallas Cowboys paper straws to use for a Super Bowl party, and she replied not even a minute later with interest. A week later, Aardvark earned coverage in Southern Living!

 

Don’t underestimate the power of newsjacking.

 

Newsjacking, or taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote one’s product or brand, can really help your client steal the spotlight. It’s always good practice to pitch a story idea that is timely, so newsjacking works well if you pitch your story as soon as possible after the news breaks.

 

Our country was so divided after the latest presidential election that even employees were affected at work. Another client of mine, Culture of Good, guides other businesses on engaging their employees properly. Immediately following the presidential election, I took the opportunity to pitch national journalists about fixing employee morale and keeping everyone together, which resulted in interest with Fast Company.

 

Make your email worth opening with a catchy subject line.

 

A dry, dull subject line such as “New wireless retail partner” is not going to get you anywhere with national media. A PR pro should make their subject lines catchy and succinct, while getting the point of the pitch across. Using Emojis adds creativity, and often, addressing the journalist’s name in the subject line helps the writer know the pitch may be personal.

 

A subject line that worked well for one of my clients, Redux, grabbed the attention of Mashable, The Today Show, TIME Magazine, New York Magazine, Digital Trends, and more: SPLASH! How to revive a wet phone in a flash this summer

 

And, when following up with media, change up the subject line to see if it peaks their interest.

 

Add images when applicable.

 

If you’re pitching a consumer product, this is a given. What better way to help a national reporter visualize your client’s product than with a photo? But even if you aren’t sharing info about a consumer product, images can add flair to an email.

Who wouldn’t want to stay at Ironworks Hotel after seeing one of their suites?

 

Be persistent.

 

Persistence is key! It’s not uncommon for a reporter to accidentally miss your first email… or your second… or your third. Follow up emails are often the ones where I receive the MOST media interest from—local and national alike. As mentioned before, refresh your subject line, add new information in the follow ups the writer may be more interested in, and keep up the determination!

 

And you may need to become a bit of a stalker.

 

Not really. But kind of. Okay, you do.

 

It’s great to find the ideal national reporter to cover your client’s story, but it can be confusing as to why you aren’t receiving any responses.

 

Look at writers’ Twitter accounts to see what they have been up to. Maybe they are on vacation or maternity leave. They could also be at a conference or tied up with a big story angle. It might be nice to use that bit of information in a follow up once you find out when they’ll be back on the grind.

 

And if you can’t find a national reporter’s email address, you may be able to find it on social media, personal websites, or otherwise.

 

Calling both local AND national writers can be nerve wracking. So before picking up the phone, try to discover if they’ve blatantly told publicists not to reach them via phone. You don’t want them to blacklist you. But I’ve called plenty of national reporters who simply didn’t see my initial emails and have indeed been interested in my client’s story. It’s definitely worth a shot!

 

Most national journalists receive hundreds of emails daily. Make yours count by sharing a lean and impactful pitch with the appropriate writer who won’t want to miss your groundbreaking story.

Consuming Media: Millennials vs. Baby Boomers

The ultimate goal of a #PRpro is securing stellar media coverage for our clients; however, that coverage can be less impactful if it’s not reaching the targeted audience. In a world increasingly influenced by technology, it’s important to remain knowledgable about how audiences are consuming media and staying informed.

 

We’re taking a closer look at how millennials and baby boomers consume media differently. Learn how it affects our strategies for telling our clients’ stories to the most influential audiences.

 

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers, born between 1946-1964 and know sticking to their roots, are surprisingly open to new formats. In fact, research shows TV hold the top spot for Baby Boomers. More specifically, 51 percent of those older than 55 are found to rely on traditional news sources, including broadcast media.

 

While Baby Boomers are adopting social media sites like Facebook more and more, they are more likely to go straight to the source. They visit news outlets directly to stay informed, spending 20 plus hours a week consuming online content. If that doesn’t say how tied Baby Boomers are to traditional media, then knowing 92 percent of them continue to listen to the radio for news updates just may convince you.

 

So, if a client is trying to reach the highly respected Baby Boomer crowd, it’s evident that traditional media is the way to go. Leveraging local broadcast media can prove highly successful, especially in the early hours as the masses consume the news of the day before heading out to work. Don’t let the word traditional stray you away from online hits though, as an online article can garner thousands of eyes as the Boomers browse news sites throughout the week.

 

Millennials

Millennials, born between 1982-2002, are changing the way younger generations stay informed. Studies show millennials rely heavily on trending articles and major headlines on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. According to Business Insider, 64 percent of people ages 18-24 say digital outlets such as online news sources and social media serve as their main source of news.

 

As for traditional media, only 24 percent of millennials ages 18-24 and 29 percent of millennials ages 25-34 turn to broadcast television to get their news. Only 5 percent of those are turning to radio and print to stay informed. Instead, millennials are utilizing local and national news sites to dive deeper into major headlines found on social media sites. In comparison to Baby Boomers, millennials are twice as likely to opt in to retrieving information from social media and word of mouth than traditional news sources (cue the group text gossip).

 

That being said, when working with clients targeting younger generations, we often gear our strategic execution toward securing media opportunities that will surface across social media platforms. While traditional outlets still garner high viewership, online hits support the research and prove to produce valuable results for client coverage. It’s important to look at online mentions when securing opportunities, in addition to utilizing social channels to increase exposure by posting client-oriented coverage.

 

The way each generation consumes news is constantly changes, dictating how we approach our strategies in the public relations industry. As the latest-and-greatest tech updates continue to revolutionize our world, it’s crucial that we do our due diligence and capitalize on the appropriate opportunities that will effectively produce results for our clients.

 

Interested in reaching these audiences online? Request a consultation with us today!

 

Dittoe PR Scores a Hole-in-One with Carry The Game

Announcing a brand-new initiative at an industry’s largest trade show is no small feat, but Dittoe PR is always up to the challenge.

 

The Western Golf Association (WGA), a long-time client of Dittoe PR, knew they wanted to make a splash in the industry when they announced their newest venture, Carry the Game. It’s an initiative that aims to change the face of youth caddying in the U.S. and would take golfers, clubs, and organizations across the industry coming together to make this initiative a success.

 

The best time to announce a new industry-wide initiative is when everyone in the industry is together, right? That’s why the WGA set their sights on announcing Carry the Game at the PGA Merchandise Show, hosted Jan. 23–26, 2018, in Orlando. The PGA Merchandise Show is the golf industry’s leading trade-only event. PGA and golf industry professionals gather together to discover the latest trends in golf equipment, technology, apparel, and accessories, as well as to learn about what’s happening in the golf industry.

 

Enter Dittoe PR.

 

With brand new, never-before-seen initiatives such as Carry the Game, it’s important to begin by establishing a knowledge base, or making sure your audience in informed. Dittoe PR started by drafting a press release, FAQ, and fact sheet to share with reporters, acting as a one-stop-shop of information for anyone who needs it. We bundled all this information into comprehensive media kits and included photos of the student caddies for reference.

 

Facts in hand, it was time for our team to pull from our past golf industry experience to secure media interest.

 

If you’re new to media relations, you may be surprised by just how many news outlets and blogs there are for various industries. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of golf magazines, blogs, radio shows, and podcasts. The major outlets such as Golf Digest and The Golf Channel may dominate the airwaves, but local golf associations have their own publications, and just about anyone who loves golf wants to talk about it. Dittoe PR researched and reached out to them all, with one caveat: No one could share information about Carry the Game until the first day of the PGA Merchandise Show.

 

Dittoe secured 17 on-site interviews for three WGA staff members who appeared on TV shows, on podcasts, in magazines, and in blogs. A Dittoe PR team member traveled to Orlando with the WGA team to assist on-site by coordinating meeting times, supplying the ever-important media kit, and ensuring both reporters and the WGA had everything they needed.

 

Not long after the PGA Merchandise Show, the coverage began pouring in!

 

 

In total, our outreach also garnered media interest from an additional 30 outlets, including Golfweek, Golf Digest, Golf Talk America, and the Daily Herald. Interviews with the WGA occurred well into March.

 

At the conclusion of Dittoe PR’s partnership in announcing Carry the Game, the WGA saw 63 secured stories, over 95 million media impressions, and an estimated ad value of over $800,000.

 

Interested in earning media attention for your next big announcement? Request a consultation with us today!