What To Do When There’s No News: Use a Smart Approach to Generate Media Attention
Are you launching a new product, hosting a grand opening or making a big industry announcement? If so, congratulations! Enjoy that sweet moment when you have a newsworthy occasion media are clamoring to cover.
If you’re on the other end where big company announcements and milestones are few and far between, never fear – you still have the power to generate great press coverage. However, your media relations approach will require a a lot of creativity, more homework and a little luck to get media attention during those quiet times.
Here are six ideas to consider if you are in between major announcements to give you story angles for pitching media:
Conduct a Survey to Reveal Interesting Findings: Media love reporting statistics, and an inexpensive brand-sponsored omnibus survey can help you uncover meaningful data relevant to your business and industry, while promoting a topic related to your business. If you go down this path, make sure you use a legitimate research provider and design the survey to reveal unexpected findings that go beyond simply validating something everyone knows is true. Another benefit of this tactic is that you can leverage these interesting stats to create other marketing assets, such as infographics, blog posts and social media content.
Effectively Pitch Trade Publications: While trade magazines and newspapers certainly cover timely news, they know their real value is delivering industry-relevant practical advice, insights and trends. As a result, these publications regularly seek content directly from experts and leaders within the industry. Think about the trade publications your audience reads and determine whether your CEO or other executives can offer insight in the form of a bylined article, opinion piece or interview. Be aware that most articles are required to be non-promotional, but you can include company information within the author’s biography posted at the end.
Take Advantage of Seasonal Angles: Identify pulse periods throughout the year where your product or service has a timely tie and can be considered for round-up articles that feature multiple items. Unique products are great fits for holiday gift guides, while fitness products and companies can focus media outreach around New Year’s resolutions or summer swimsuit season. Keep in mind that reporters are usually inundated with pitches around these topics and even begin working on these types of articles months in advance. Stay on top of this long-lead opportunity and begin your outreach early.
Monitor for Opportunities to Insert Your Company Expert: Set up Google Alerts with industry terms, regularly read desired publications, and look for tools that allow you to be on the receiving end of reporter inquiries. These activities can help you identify real-time opportunities where your company spokesperson can offer information or a quote you know is relevant to the news of the day or what the reporter is working on.
Nurture Media Relationships: Choose a handful of media contacts you’ve worked with previously or cover topics related to your business. When you don’t have specific news you’re pitching them, use this down time to reach out and acknowledge great articles they’ve written recently, ask about what they’re working on and remind them of resources you can provide for their topic area. They’ll appreciate the “no expectations” correspondence and are more likely to keep you top-of-mind when they’re working on a story that would benefit from your expertise.
Think Outside of the Media List: With limited time, you’re likely to stick to a media list you’ve built that covers your industry, beat or service. During slow periods, research and branch out to other media platforms and outlets where you haven’t exhausted your efforts. For example, if you usually focus on print outlets, think about opportunities such as radio and podcasts.
What we love about this targeted approach is it focuses on high quality pitches that don’t spam our friends in the media. By thinking outside the box and being a little creative, there are ways to land media coverage during the “slow news” times in your company.
And if you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for all of this,” we have your back. Approach us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org to develop a full media relations campaign or simply give your current efforts a boost.