Written by Beth Nydick, Publicity Coach
Clients want press to get in front of their target audience and grow their business, which means your job is to not only land coverage, but to land the right kind of coverage. And beyond just the placement, the job of the modern communication professional is to think beyond publicist as the sum total of success, and carry the strategy through, considering how those those additional eyeballs can be harnessed in support of business goals.
First, clients need to prepared to handle the influx of attention, whether it’s about making sure enough tie-dye sweat suits are in stock, or an attractive inquiry form to schedule sales calls. The first time I was on Dr. Oz, I didn’t have my website properly set up to capture pleads, and missed the opportunity to capture the emails of the thousands of people who visited my website that day. It didn’t ruin the entire opportunity of course, the credibility of the placement was a powerful endorsement, but if I had been ready, all those warm leads could have converted into sales.
Once you are sure that PR opportunities will be optimized, here are 6 tips to help those pitches pack a punch so that you land top-tier press.
1. Define your human interest angle
Want to capture immediate interest? Emphasize the human interest angle. Connect the brand’s emotional story to the gatekeepers values (and heartstrings). We can pitch a million data points and details about this feature or that service, but one extremely effective way to cut through the noise during a busy day is to make your contact feel connected to the client or story idea you are presenting. After all, the story is never just about the product; a necklace is not simply adornment. Does the founder have a story about rising up and fighting for what she wants? Can the necklace be a visual reminder of that bravery to the woman who wears it? See, now you’re gears are turning!
2. Take inspiration from competitor or category press mentions
There is a fine line between simply emulating the category leader (snooze, boring) and approaching press you did not secure featuring competitor brands with an investigative eye. Essentially, all the press you wish you had secured can be evaluated for complementary angles, reviewed in terms of messaging, price point, business model etc to create fresh pitch angles that either broaden or deepen typical coverage. Think beyond magazines, TV and digital slideshows as well, our current marketing landscape offers many ways to gain insight into tactics other brands are using to gain a foothold as category leader. Ask yourself – where can we lead?
We can pitch a million data points and details about this feature or that service, but one extremely effective way to cut through the noise during a busy day is to make your contact feel connected to the client or story idea you are presenting.
3. Redefine Top Tier Media
Every client wants those top tier media hits, but the truth of the matter is that just being in a major glossy is not an automatic link to selling out a collection, not anymore. Help your client understand and revisit dream placements through the lens of which outlets actually drive results. This requires mutual agreement on who the ideal customer/client actual is – beyond just demographics. With a concrete understanding of the client avatar, media lists might change, emphasis on earned versus owned media might shift, and you’ll find that even a regional publication can have far more impact than the places every single business is vying for. No matter what product you driving awareness for, sales is most often the ultimate goal. What stories does the avatar need to hear to buy from your client in order to become brand loyal? Those are your first 5 pitch angles.
Bonus Tip: Expand beyond traditional forms of coverage
A media strategy isn’t just Vogue and Good Morning America. With your new definition of effective awareness-builders and ideal client avatar, look for other ways to showcase brand story, founder inspiration, product samples and trials, as well as simply generating positive rapport. Consider booking your client to speak at a summit, securing in-depth podcast interviews, or hosting a roundtable CEO open Q+A over Zoom or IGTV.
Media placements are an evolving target that work as part of a comprehensive strategy grounded in storytelling, timeliness and closing the distance between a company and it’s raving fans.
Beth Nydick is a speaker, author, and a magnetic business mentor. Through her mantra of “Making Potential Possible,” she co-authored the top-selling Clean Cocktails: Righteous Recipes for the Modern Mixologist, and has been in featured in OPRAH, Parade, Forbes, Inc., Nylon Magazine, Tori Burch, and Better Homes and Gardens, plus appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, The Chew, and The Tonight Show. She recently launched her new podcast Behind the Spotlight. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.