49 Surprising Tips for Getting Attention in Mass Media

  • May 25, 2016

    49 Surprising Tips for Getting Attention in Mass Media

    Everyone wants to get noticed. And everyone wants attention.

    Well, why are we trying the same old, tired techniques?

    When you’re trying to gain media attention it’s important to standout. If you’re exactly like everyone else, why would anyone care to cover you?

    Find your unique voice and own it.

    This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to repeat what works for others, but find your own spin on that approach.

    Below are 49 more unconventional, yet effective, approaches to help you get noticed.

    If you missed the first part of this series, check it out here.

    1. Spot an information gap

    Find an information gap for a particular reporter (Hint: Read other reporters’ accounts as well.)

    2. Hire an editor

    Hire an editor or outside contractor with experience editing. Treat each email like you would a blog post, brand page, etc.

    3. A/B test subjects

    A/B test subject headings when pitching several reporters and editors. Take notice of who replies given which headings.

    4. Revisit a local story

    Locals, already familiar with a topic, may be interested to hear follow-up stories.

    5. Target industry-specific reporters

    Target reporters who regularly cover your niche, and contact them for direct quotes for a story that you’re writing.

    6. Find something in common

    Find a common bond, doing an image (or reverse image) search for their name to possibly unearth pictures of them doing hobbies or pictures they’ve used in their pieces.

    reverse image for mass media

    7. Place deposits before reaching out

    Don’t (just) follow a reporter before you make an outreach attempt. Make (at least) two sentiments of interest (follow the reporter on Twitter and comment on a post of theirs) before writing an outreach email.

    8. Pitch warm leads

    Pitch a follow-up or annual study to those who have previously covered you or your business.

    9. Take it old school

    Send a written letter as outreach rather than email; place it in a larger envelope and include pictures and graphs to supplement your insight – be different!

    10. Support your claims

    Find (at least) three supporting articles (from respected sources) to support your own arguments or position for credibility purposes.

    11. Take a unique stance

    Make a counterargument regarding a reporter or organization’s opinion; even if a reporter does not agree, they may want to include a counterpoint in a follow-up story.

    12. Run a contest

    Consider changing the name of your business, service, or popular product, and get consumers involved in the process via a contest.

    13. Follow ongoing stories

    Take interest in ongoing stories with two or more reporters contributing. You’ll be more likely to offer something one (or the others) find intriguing.

    14. Don’t just rely on Google alerts

    Use another alert system, besides Google, to stay on top of stories and particular reporters.

    alert system for mass media

    15. Create an authority perception

    Include links to prior articles you’ve written (or been referenced in) along with your email signature during the initial outreach to express authority.

    16.Reply promptly

    Don’t keep an interested reporter waiting; get back to them within the hour!

    17. Play to your strengths

    If you’re a better speaker than writer, consider uploading a YouTube video rather than write, yet explain (in the body of the email) why you rather include a video link.

    18. Provide another point of view

    Include quotes of a friend or colleague who has a counterpoint to your argument. Both parties may get coverage.

    19. Be generous by linking

    Along with a written thank you, get digital and thank them with a link.

    20. Maintain ongoing contact

    Making contact (email, tweet, blog comment) once each month.

    21. Get eyes on your email

    Have (at least) two other people read your email for grammar and spelling before sending it to a reporter or editor.

    check grammar and spelling for mass media

    22. Keep things professional

    Avoid Facebook stalking or informal gestures on Twitter.

    23. Set them up with someone else

    If you think an ‘influencer’ in your niche (has already) answered a reporter’s present query, do the work for the former party and send the reporter a link to quotes or works along with contact information.

    24. Send them a doll

    Send a personalized bobblehead doll as a memorable ‘thank you’ sentiment.

    25. Make a donation

    Make a donation in the name of the reporter or media outlet in appreciation for coverage or ongoing contact.

    26. Take it to Pinterest

    Make a Pinterest board filled with insights regarding a particular topic, and refer reporters to your curated effort.

    make a pinterest board for mass media

    27. Create a unique landing page

    Filled with information to supplement your initial information, especially if you have a lot of information to relay.

    28. Use Twitter lists

    Create a Twitter list of people who can help a reporter with a query.

    create a twitter list for mass media

    29. Use a unique hashtag

    Create a hashtag to support a reporter’s active and ongoing query or topic of interest.

    create a hashtag for mass media

    30. Use Twitter chats

    Interview a reporter or editor via a Twitter chat.

    31. Don’t just use influencers

    Don’t only use ‘influencers’ for roundup or mass opinion posts; those with a limited number of followers are (more) likely to appreciate the attention.

    32. Get creative

    If you’re a graphic artist, or an in-house designer, consider creating a political cartoon to illustrate a point rather than write an argument or opinion.

    33. Take your data visual

    Ask influencers to contribute to an ongoing collage of data, tables, and other varieties of visual information.

    34. Make a ‘thank you’ page

    Create a ‘thank you’ page of particular followers who express extra interest in your posts, tweets, insights, etc.

    35. Talk in benefits

    Make sure you address how your information benefits the reporter’s readers.

    36. Tap into BuzzSumo

    Use BuzzSumo to find the most-shared content and to identify influencers.

    use buzzsumo for mass media

    37. Focus on the intro of your email

    Spend most of your time on the opening three-to-four sentences of the outreach email.

    38. Be a good listener

    Establish that you’re a good listener, relaying previous opinions and work of reporters.

    39. Be thankful

    Thank the reporter for their time (even if you don’t hear back from them). It’s a sentiment of respect (as well as a subtle reminder!)

    40. Think in arcs

    Show the reporter you’re savvy about where a story has been and (especially) where it’s going. Reporters look for arcs, so you should too.

    41. Be patient

    Wait to respond to a query you can truly contribute toward; first impressions count!

    42. Care about the relationship first

    Focus on building a relationship with a reporter more than being covered for a story.

    43. Ask questions

    Ask questions in comments and using tweets rather than only sharing a reporter’s story.

    ask questions in comments for mass media

    44. Use an analogy

    Use an analogy to support your position or argument (perhaps using a hobby or interest of the reporter).

    45. Leverage line spacing

    Use spacing in your email, especially between major points.

    46. Be confident

    Be confident with your writing voice; you are asking for inclusion in a story, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re doing something for the reporter too.

    47. Be aware of deadlines

    Reporters work with deadlines; let them know that you’re available for a follow-up whenever they’re ready.

    48. Keep an email chain going

    When following up with a reporter, use the same email chain (for their convenience) rather than starting a new string.

    49. Get better at outreach

    Get better at outreach, reading related literature and being inquisitive about reporter and editor preferences.

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