133 ways to become a media magnet - tips and ideas to enhance your profile in the press and media. How to get noticed by journalists to get the profile your business deserves. http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/
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133 Ways to
Become a Media
Get the media profile your
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133 Ways to Become a Media Magnet
For many, the media spotlight is just a dream. You might have aspirations about
creating media profile but feel that big budgets are necessary. That is simply not true.
You can compete with the larger organisations. And, in many cases, you’ll have a huge
advantage in that you will be able to respond more quickly to media enquiries. Often,
journalists prefer to speak to those involved in, or running, the business or organisation
rather than press offices, PR consultants or agencies. That puts you in a strong
So, if other businesses, or organisations, are getting media profile, what’s their secret?
Well, I’m glad to tell you that it comes down to something quite simple – understanding
what journalists want and giving it to them. Here, I’ve listed 133 ways to help you do
just that – ways to identify the right journalists, attract their attention and engage and
manage relations with them. Good luck, and let me know how you get on:
Research your target press and media – work out who to target and
what they are interested in
1. Immerse yourself in the press and media – it’s one of the best ways to help
you ‘tune in’ to the news agenda and what journalists are interested in.
2. Monitor, regularly, the press and media that are important to you to stay in
touch with the issues that matter.
3. Pull together a list of the key press and media you want to target – then
analyse them in detail for tone, style, content, format and opportunities.
4. Use search engines to hunt for relevant subjects and news stories and find
journalists reporting on topical and relevant issues.
5. Track key journalists on social media – follow what they report on and what
they chat about.
6. Take the opportunity to connect with key journalists online and engage with
7. Seek out journalists at events you attend and get chatting to them.
8. Regularly monitor the key hashtags on Twitter that are pertinent for your
organisation and sector – you need to know what is being said and who is
9. Set up Google alerts for relevant key words specific to your sector, business
and to your competitors.
10. Telephone target journalists to find out the best ways to contact them, what
they are interested in and the deadlines they work to.
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Engage with journalists and become known to them in advance of
pitching an idea or story
11. Post comments on news and sector specific websites in response to articles.
12. Follow journalists on Twitter and tweet, and link, to their articles that are of
13. Respond to their tweets and provide useful information and comment.
14. Open up debate on Twitter about a story written by the journalist.
15. Comment in response to Facebook postings by journalists.
16. Track Google Plus to see if updates and comments are posted by your target
journalists, and comment on them where appropriate.
17. Reference articles and news stories journalists have written in your blog, and
highlight that to the journalist.
18. Make yourself available and respond to journalists on and off line.
19. Be helpful and point journalists towards information and other experts who can
20. Showcase your news, and your expertise, on your website. Just like everyone
else, journalists use search engines to find information and experts.
Package your news story to give journalists what they want
21. Check your story for the key ingredients of news – human interest is key.
22. Sum up, in one sentence what your news story is all about – that is how you
will pitch it to journalists.
23. Ensure that you build in the other ingredients of news that journalists look
24. Check that your story is timely.
25. Ensure the story is relevant to your target journalists and the press and
media they represent.
26. Tailor your news story for the different types of press and media – national,
specialist, local etc, tweak your press release to suit.
27. Use the inverted pyramid format to write your press release – with the
essence of the story up front and supporting information further down. Make
your first paragraph count so that if only that paragraph were re-produced the
story would make sense and could be used stand alone.
28. Include a quote in your press release if at all possible.
29. Answer the key questions of your story in the press release – the who, what,
why, where, when and how?
30. Include a named contact in the press release and ensure that they know
about the story and are available to take follow up calls and make comment.
31. Double check all facts that appear in the press release.
32. Draft a key facts note to support media interview preparation, particularly if a
number of different people are going to be doing interviews.
33. Include a ‘boilerplate’ in the ‘notes to editors’ section of your press
release i.e. a short paragraph that summarises what your business does and
gives some basic background information.
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34. Use the ‘notes to editors’ section for any detailed explanation needed in
relation to the news story.
35. Focus your press release on the impact your news has on people – think
benefits, not features.
36. Think in pictures about the image, photography or filming that you can use, or
offer, to support the story.
37. Use third party endorsement in your press release to help support your story.
38. Speak to the journalist about the story in advance of sending it.
39. Offer case studies to journalists to support your news story.
40. Never send a press release to a journalist as an attachment to an email.
41. Never send a photo to a journalist on email without checking with them first.
42. Offer an exclusive to one journalist at a time.
43. Give journalists plenty of notice if your story relates to a specific event that is
44. Offer journalists background briefing notes to help give context for the story
and provide additional information but don’t overload them.
Look at a range of ideas for creating profile and news angles
45. Carry out some research – but have in mind the ‘news’ angle before doing it
– think about what findings would spark debate.
46. Challenge current thinking on a topic, be controversial.
47. Put out a call to action.
48. Get involved with your local community.
49. Support a local charity
50. Offer to sponsor a local group or organisation.
51. Sponsor an event or an award.
52. Pick out any up and coming significant dates that you can use to highlight
something about your business.
53. Look at seasonal opportunities that give you scope for news announcements
and comment opportunities.
54. Do something unusual for your customers that has never been done before.
55. Set up a collaborative forum to explore, or try to tackle, a sector issue.
56. Co-ordinate a stunt.
57. Set up a process for capturing unusual stories about the organisation.
58. Make an attempt at a world record.
59. Generate discussion by hosting a debate on a hot topic in your industry –
invite industry-known figures, influencers and others who will be interested.
60. Tap into significant anniversaries – your 1st
year in business.
61. Highlight milestones – your 1,000th
customer, the results of a staff initiative.
62. Hold a competition.
63. Enter an award.
64. Create and launch your own awards scheme.
65. Link up with a local school in a joint project.
66. Be the first in your industry, or sector, to do something.
67. Go the extra mile for a customer.
68. Seek out speaker opportunities.
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69. Piggyback on the back of current trends.
70. Set up an awards scheme for your employees.
71. Announce partnerships and new contracts or associations.
72. Seek out profile opportunities for you or your organisation – what makes you
different, why have you been successful?
73. Warn your target audience about up and coming issues that you can help
74. Approach the local paper to offer an advice column or to answer questions
75. Approach a specialist magazine offering an expert column.
76. Produce a ‘how to7’ guide on an area of your expertise and promote it.
77. Announce news of your business expanding, new appointments, awards.
78. Use ‘stunning’ statistics to provide a news angle for a story.
79. Register as an expert on www.expertsources.co.uk and
www.findatvexpert.com as well as other free journalist databases.
80. Approach online publications with ideas for articles you can write yourself.
81. Approach press and online media with ideas for feature articles you can
82. Track the press and media and offer yourself as a case study to relevant
83. Use customer/client stories as case studies and approach target press and
media with them.
84. Study your press and media for one-off opportunities for comment.
85. Write a letter to the editor.
86. Take part in a radio phone-in.
87. Be the first to pick up the phone to a journalist on the back of a breaking news
story to provide comment.
88. Offer article ideas on the back of a news story.
89. Target press with ‘ten top tips’ in your chosen specialist area.
90. Approach publications to see if they have listings of up and coming planned
features that you can capitalise on.
91. Make yourself an expert – pitch direct to a journalist highlighting successes,
experience and areas of expertise.
92. Include an area on your website for press and media and provide a press
93. Suggest a follow-up piece to an article just published that builds on that
article or expands on a related angle.
94. Host a seminar.
95. Write a book.
96. Write a blog on your experience relevant to your audience.
97. Start a campaign and call on others to sign up – make a public stand about an
issue that affects local people, your sector etc.
98. Demonstrate how your business or organisation is an example of a national
trend, or illustrates the points made in a national news story.
99. Highlight how your business or organisation bucks a trend.
100. Shout about your successes.
101. Produce a calendar of PR ‘hits’ that brings together all the ideas
discussed and maps them out in a timeframe.
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Know how to handle media enquiries and showcase your knowledge
In response to a press release
102. Be prepared for media enquiries on the back of a press release and keep a
copy with you, just in case you receive a call when out of the office.
103. Write down the difficult questions a journalist might ask you about a story
before you issue your press release.
104. Ensure you have any supporting facts and figures, or further examples, to
105. Let people within your organisation know that a press release has been
issued and who to forward calls onto.
106. Be up-to-date with news in your sector in case you get asked for your opinion
about a current topic.
107. Be prepared with additional material or information you can offer the
journalist to support the story – interviews, case studies, photography.
In response to unexpected enquiries
108. Never speak to a journalist off the cuff.
109. Use a media enquiry form to capture key information from the journalist.
110. Get the key information and agree to call the journalist back.
111. Always check to see who else they have spoken to, or plan to speak to.
112. Identify, clearly, what the journalist wants – information, an interview,
contact details for someone else.
113. Weigh up carefully whether this opportunity will help you to achieve your PR
114. Decide whether you are the best person for the journalist to speak to.
115. Check whether your chat is being recorded.
116. Capture all contact details for the journalist.
117. Ask how they came across you.
Perform in a media interview and encourage the journalist to
approach you again for interview or comment
118. Take as much time as possible to prepare for the interview.
119. Work out your answers to the most obvious questions.
120. Work out your answers to the most difficult questions.
121. Always double check the logistics for any interview.
122. Check who else might be interviewed in relation to the story.
123. Remember to ask whether the interview is live or recorded.
124. Watch/listen/read the relevant press and media in advance.
125. Write down your three key messages for the interview.
126. Ensure you have double checked the relevant statistics you want to use in