Usually, the first thing we are asked from a prospective client is this: "do you have the right connections and contacts in the media in order to get our story out?"
Good question, but not the right one to start off with.
Do we know a lot of analysts, bloggers and journalists? Of course. But we are only as good as our last contact with them.
Oh…and with thousands of possible candidates to work with, it’s a huge universe, and no agency no matter how large or small is going to have relationships with every possible person who may cover your company.
And one more issue: journalists, analysts and bloggers are deluged with pitches, requests, story ideas, and proposals to look at the next big thing.
But "knowing" someone does not always make us successful. What matters is this:
1. Be patient. Journalists, analysts and bloggers are busy and backlogged. You are better off cultivating the relationship and helping the journalist write something interesting, relevant, timely and perhaps even exclusive.
2. Be timely. Send out news on the day you announce something and it’s old news. In other words, send your news out early, before its live, under embargo to selected journalists.
3. Sustain. Counting on one announcement to make you famous is not going to happen. We find that on-going outreach results in longer-term and media coverage of substance.
4. Populate your newsroom with timely and interesting content. Have a newsroom with screen shots, white papers, executive bios, and of course your most recent news releases. Also, don’t forget to have media contacts listed with contact info so you can be found when they need you.
5. Consider blogging. This is a great way to have journalists find your company’s human face and quote your executives who are blogging.
Photo copyright (C) 2007 by Alan Weinkrantz. All Rights Reserved.