A Winning Formula For Media Coverage
Getting media coverage is a piece of cake, right? Think again.
In my 30+ years, I have learned that getting media coverage, large or small and in mainstream or social media, requires a winning formula.
My opinion is affirmed by David E. Henderson, former CBS news executive, strategic communications consultant and author ot two exceptional books – Making News and Making News in the Digital Era.
Henderson cites the media coverage success (New York Times, Reuters, AP, ABC, CNN, etc.) of the non-for-profit Tahirih Justice Center and its founder Layli Miller-Muro. The Center provides pro-bono legal assistance on behalf of immigrant and refugee women and girls.
Miller-Muro’s consistent success proves that respect for reporters and this corresponding formula have transformed her as a novice into a powerful expert at generating media coverage:
Treat news releases only as a way to maintain awareness for reporters. Never expect a story to result from sending a release.
Focus on a few journalists with whom you have a relationship – to pitch stories to or ask for advice – avoiding mass outreach.
Give reports timely and relevant legitimate story angles with personal stories that illustrate your point.
Craft a page of five to 10 sentences – talking points or messages – that you want to say in an interview before even speaking with a reporter.
Develop healthy and respectful working relationships with journalists, which means being immediately responsive to their calls, respectful of their deadlines and corresponding in a professional manner.
Readily admit when you are not an expert on an issue and refer journalists to other sources who are.
Before speaking to reporters, look up their past coverage and understand their likely biases.
Ask the journalist to use the name of your organization when quoting you, so that your comments are best put into context.
That’s a winning formula that can work for a cause, a brand or any organization.