Let me ask you: do you consider yourself a media darling? Someone who is popular with the media and well known in your niche?
Imagine when you reach that point where you barely have to pitch the media. Instead, the media are chasing you for a quote to use in their next article. Or they’re looking to you to be in a photo to add some credibility to the piece they’re putting together.
They see YOU as the well-known or popular person in your niche.
Now wouldn’t that be lovely?
Getting the media chasing you isn’t actually that hard. This is what I teach in my DIY PR course. I can give you plenty of examples of where entrepreneurs have pitched themselves to the media, only to find that the media started chasing them for a story.
You’ve got to pitch great content from the start.
You’ve got to be helpful without seeking anything in return.
You’ve got to position yourself as an expert in your industry.
You’ve got to deliver golden quotes or sound bites they just can’t wait to use in their stories – quotes that make them look good as journalists.
So tell me? Are you doing all the above?
Where do you think you’re falling down?
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
I’ll give you a real life example for this on how I got to the point where the media were chasing me.
Covering stories on my topic.
Quoting me without even having to speak to me (now that’s the lazy way to go about it, right!).
You can do this so easily.
Pitch great content from the start
Some of you may have heard this story, but it’s worth repeating. I collaborated with another entrepreneur on a survey for Australian women to find out their online habits. We were really trying to discover the impacts blogs and social media were having on women’s buying decisions.
After 700 responses through a simple SurveyMonkey form – so it was free and something anyone can do – we discovered some fascinating findings.
Findings we couldn’t just keep to ourselves
So we did what ALL good people do when they have a media background, we developed a PR campaign and began crafting press releases and media pitches.
We really only targeted a small number of media outlets, most of which were online media outlets interested in digital and marketing.
But the wave that followed was something we hadn’t anticipated. This is where we’d crafted enough material online and been strategic enough with the media outlets we did target, that other media outlets and bloggers began to link to our content, quote us in their articles and posts, and reach out to us to connect.
We also had a good media page for this at the time that allowed any media outlet to download good quality photos of us to use. All small, but important steps.
Be helpful without seeking anything in return
I want you to put yourself in the shoes of the journalists on your media contact list for a minute. Some of them wear rather nice shoes too! Except for the rural reporter – beware of the gumboots!
All a journalist wants to do in any given day is:
- Find the best media story idea of the day that no other media outlet is working on that can produce a front page or lead page story. They’re not quite as interested in the story that’s going to be buried on page 19.
- Find a great person to quote to make the story entertaining, educational or informative. They want the reader to be glued to every word.
- Please their editor and chief of staff.
- Do all of the above effortlessly.
Now, the thing is, a journalist will have their own little black book of contacts. These are the people they might ring every morning to see “what’s news’’ or ring when they have a specific story they know that contact can help them with. Your goal is to try and become one of those contacts.
To do that, you need to be helping them achieve their goals for the day – which are those four above.
If you get a tip off for a good story or you come across something fascinating you think would be worth a journalist digging into, send it to them in a quick email.
If you have a contact for them who would be ideal for them to chat with, send that too.
It doesn’t matter if this story has nothing to do with you.
Now, you might be thinking well, hang on a minute, how does this help me? Aren’t I just helping someone else here?
Well, aside from the good karma you’re creating in helping others, you’re actually putting yourself on the journalist’s radar. They’re going to start seeing you as the expert on this topic.
And guess what happens next time they do a story in your niche? They’re going to think of you first AND contact you. Because, hey, you were the one who was so helpful last time and they now know they can rely on you.
Eventually, you’ll be part of their regular Monday morning rounds call – and you’ll be the media darling!
Position yourself as an expert in your industry
Positioning yourself as an expert when it comes to media goes both ways.
Of course, gaining media coverage gives you expert status. Once people see you talking about a chosen topic in newspapers, radio, TV, magazines and online news hubs your authority around that topic increases.
But it works the other way too.
If you can position yourself as an authority on a chosen topic, then the media will want to use you – because they perceive you to be an authority.
This can mean becoming your own “news agency’’ by creating blog content, guest posts, articles, newsletters and social media content that proves you know what you’re talking about. It only takes one journalist to read it or have your content recommended to them by someone else for you to have the media chasing you.
So keep putting out good content and know that it’s not just your ideal client reading it!
Deliver golden quotes or sound bites
As I mentioned, one of the goals of a journalist is to get a good story that pleases their readers and pleases their editors.
If you can deliver them a good story with some sizzling sound bites (also known as golden quotes), then they’re going to want to come back to you next time.
Not sure what a sound bite is?
It’s a memorable quote that answers a question precisely. These are the lines we end up sharing.
Think about them like tweets on Twitter and having to sum up something in a clever way in 140 characters. Twitter is a great practice ground for sound bites.
Here are a couple of examples of great quotes:
Richard Branson: “You’ve got to take risks if you’re going to succeed. I would much rather ask forgiveness than permission’’.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee on becoming Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate in 2012: “There’s a greater likelihood that I’ll be asked by Madonna to go on tour as her bass player than I’ll be picked to be on the ticket’’.
Derek Halpern on fonts: “Size 14 is the new size 12’’
Julius Caesar: “I came, I saw, I conquered’’
Think about how you could get your message across in one sentence.
There are actually a few different formulas I’ve come up with inside Publicity Alchemy to help you craft these much more easily. For now, just start playing around with words and see what you come up with. Have some fun with it!
So, do you think you could be the next media darling? Tell me in the comments which step you’re going to try!
If you want to dive deeper into learning how to create a PR campaign and do your own PR to gain media coverage in newspapers, radio and TV in 30 days, join me and a host of other “media darlings” inside Publicity Alchemy.