This article will discuss how you can write emails and letters requesting media coverage for events, products, and personalities. You must understand that what you want from this method is publicity and not adulation.
Writing press releases
Although you do not require a publicist’s assistance, you will need to understand the basics of press releases if you want to participate in the future of media-driven marketing.
It would help if you also had an idea of what you want your audience to think about your brand, company, and product and what information you wish to include.
Once you have your narrative, background, and message in mind, you can write your press release, which reporters or bloggers usually ask for when they seek an interview or coverage.
I’m sure you’ve read at least one newspaper article where the writer failed to cite a quote properly.
Often, it’s because the journalist wanted to write something that might resonate with their readership, or they’re simply flailing their arms in search of a sound bite that describes your brand in a catchy and useful way.
Regardless of the cause, it would help if you kept your story intact and concise.
For example, if you contact a journalist about your favorite e-commerce site, do not quote your website’s sales numbers. Instead, cite what percentage of your online store’s traffic came from the home page and what percentage of your traffic came from product reviews.
If the publication wants to give you a headline, include the fact that it is the site’s e-commerce page, and then leave the quote’s details out. Be prepared to provide context, as the reporter needs to verify your story.
If you are writing a newsletter, outline your brand’s current strategic goals, and then provide the necessary links for readers to explore those goals.
Social media marketing
The journalist’s attention span is almost non-existent, and the news cycle moves quickly. The shorter your pitch is, the better.
Social media helps journalists break through the noise because it allows them to react in real-time. Additionally, it allows them to share content and get information in front of their readers.
Many journalists also let social media work for them. In fact, several journalists have a regular social media follow-up, which is when they check in with readers regularly.
To do this, journalists will post an article to their Twitter or Facebook feed and then respond to readers’ comments. These kinds of posts can be forwarded to editors and reporters at news organizations or shared with others that will benefit from disseminating information.
Readers may be surprised to hear that some journalists use social media, but they are often interested in hearing their readers’ opinions.
Journalists are busy people, and they can sometimes be slow to respond to inquiries. For this reason, your goal should be to secure a media interview quickly.
Most reporters have a daily intake of press releases, so it is possible to put together a piece that will stand out. The trick is to provide a little more information than what is typically found in a typical release.
However, what works for some journalists may not work for others. There are a couple of things that you should include in your media coverage letter, regardless of who you’re contacting.
Develop a clear narrative
Journalists are looking for stories, not talking heads. While it is important to keep the message positive, your media coverage letter should also provide journalists with a clear, concise narrative that explains what your company does, how your company accomplishes its goals, and what the brand is all about.
Do not shy away from honesty and sincerity because you want journalists to relate to you and help create a story for your brand.
If you want journalists to focus on your product or service or to understand the company’s mission, you should tell them in your media coverage letter. However, if you want to build awareness for a marketing campaign, your media coverage letter should have a brief, friendly tone and include examples of how your company has generated sales from the campaign.
Encourage journalists to “get on board.”
Journalists and their newsrooms are full of talented and energetic individuals. You can do your part to help get more reporters, editors, and editors involved in your company by encouraging them to “get on board” with your brand.
If you’re running a special promotion or advertising campaign, let them know about it. If you have a story about your company, include a link to your press release and ask for their reaction.
While you do not want to spend a lot of time discussing the product or service you are selling, you can encourage journalists to “get on board” by providing them with a call to action.
A call to action tells journalists what they should do next, which helps them feel empowered. Be sure to ask journalists how they can support your efforts and provide them with a straightforward yet to-the-point call to action.
Journalists have their own timelines and their own processes. While it is not your responsibility to accommodate all of their processes, you want to get the most out of your communication with them.
To ensure that you get the most value out of your media coverage letter, you should plan to follow a few different guidelines.
Do not give press releases, promotional materials, or sales sheets. Send hardcopy press releases, promotional materials, and sales sheets via email.
Do not submit press releases and promotional materials by email. Publish press releases and marketing materials in a free email newsletter.
Once a press release or marketing piece is published, send a link to the newsletter.
Do not email press releases, promotional materials, and sales sheets unless the email can be tracked. Email is too accessible.
To avoid having emails lost in the system, you should make sure that the email links to a distribution list that journalists can access.
Don’t answer all the questions in your media coverage letter.
Do not provide answers to all the questions that journalists will ask. Your answers should provide journalists with an outline of your business, company, or campaign and are often the most important part of your press release.
But do not give away any secrets.
When sending out a letter to request a press release, make sure you outline what you want to send out so that the reporter can properly make a write-up deserving of praise.
Your product’s image and your brand are on the line. Thus, careful and strategic decisions need to be made.