The world of public relations is a cutthroat one. On a daily basis, you’re competing with hundreds of different PR professionals that are trying to catch the attention of the same editor, reporter or blogger. If you think outside of the box when you approach your PR strategy, you have a better chance of catching a journalist’s eye. Sometimes there’s a risk involved—but the payoff could be huge.
Below you’ll find five eye-catching approaches to sparking a journalist’s interest.
01. Offer an exclusive.
The last thing a reporter wants to do is cover a topic that has already been covered by a competing publication. Reporters don’t always have time to do the proper legwork in that area; if you want to grab the reporter’s attention, offer them an “exclusive.” That way, they know that they’ll be the first organization to break the news—and if they’re interested in the story, they’ll have more motivation to pursue it.
02. Describe the end result of your story without giving away how you got there.
This one is a bit tricky. Maybe you have a customer with an interesting story related to your business. For instance, one of your customers replaced a sump pump through your site—right before a heavy rain had all of their neighbors fighting basement floods. The pitch might look something like this:
"Following the destruction of a tropical storm, a man in rural Florida found out that he was the only one in his neighborhood who hadn't experienced basement flooding. Would you be interested in speaking with the man to find out why? If so, I can put you in touch."
03. Give away free stuff.
While some publications will have strict policies governing freebies, plenty of others are open to receiving gifts as motivation to write a story. For instance, if you’re in the business of selling jewelry designed and manufactured locally, sending a necklace to a jewelry blogger as a gesture of good faith (and under the assumption that the blogger will give you a plug if they like the item) is a great way to help drum up some ink.
04. Start a conversation using social media.
All of the journalists you’re looking to get in touch with are present on social media channels. A social network like Twitter is more open-ended than Facebook; it gives you an open channel to the writer whose interest you’re trying to capture. By following that writer and taking part in whatever conversation they’re involved in, you have a better chance of opening a communications channel to get your brand some promotion.
05. Pitch a contest to your favorite blogger.
Blogs and magazines can’t get enough of contests. If you’re willing to give out some freebies, ask a blogger about the possibility of partnering for a contest. Outline exactly what you’re looking to do to make the strategy as simple as possible. Blogs and magazines love these kind of things; they inspire reader loyalty at no cost to the publication (other than a simple shout-out to your company, the mastermind behind the competition).