Imagine this: you have just finished what is going to be the biggest product launch in your company. This is the product that is meant to put your company on the map! It may not be as big as the iPhone, but it’s almost there in its magnitude to transform your customer’s life Media Attention.
BUT you have no idea how to get media attention on this product launch without acting sleazy, salesy, or pushy. Read on to find out how to gain media attention in a way that suits your company culture.
1. Think of Your Customer First
Always remember that the best way to gain media attention is to do something newsworthy, but also to do something that puts the needs of the customer first. The media won’t care if you have a new product that can change the world if your customers aren’t affected by it.
You could make the world’s best widget, but if the widget is hard for people to understand and use, then it’s essentially a useless invention.
Spend some time thinking about your current and potential customers. What do they want from your product or service? Are they getting it already or is there any way you can make their lives better using your product or service?
If you can strongly convey that your customer is the one that will benefit the most when it comes to using your new product or service, the more likely it is that mass media will perk up and pay attention.
2. Use All Avenues Available to You
Traditional business owners sometimes tend to vilify social media or to avoid new social media channels because they think they are a waste of time. But the businesses that seem to do the best at getting at a wider audience through their media efforts, are the ones who are on the most important social media channels.
Where do your customers hang out the most? How can you use social media to your advantage rather than avoiding it?
But it’s not only social media that business owners tend to avoid. It can also be creating and sending out press releases (find pr newswire pricing here), working with radio and TV advertising, and trying out Google Ads or Shopify Ads.
Try to use as many media avenues available to you as possible. If it’s working for your competitors and other businesses in your industry, it will work for you as well. Don’t leave these golden opportunities on the proverbial table.
3. Make It Easy for the Media to Use Your Story
When you are creating a news story that you think is media-worthy, make sure to make it easy for reporters and journalists to use your story without much editing or additional work. There are some ways to do this right:
- Avoid fluff as much as possible – keep it short, sweet, and to the point
- Add many bulleted and unnumbered lists to break up the text and make it easy to consume
- Don’t drone on and on for thousands of words – if you can say it in 500 words, do so
- Create a powerful, eye-catching headline – most people will only read your headline, not the body of your article
- Add in quotes from industry experts, influencers, and other people in the know
- Make sure you have all the facts right – don’t put in false or unchecked facts in your article
- Have one contact person listed in your article and have them be available 24/7 in the beginning when the media attention will be heaviest
Of course, you didn’t think that getting media attention would be as easy as wanting it, did you? Getting the right media attention at the right time in the right cadence is an art form. It takes work, and it won’t be a piece of cake.
4. Follow Up with Inquiries Right Away
Ideally, you would have a team of people ready to answer any inquiries that come your business’ way. If you have a contact person included in the news article or press release, or on social media, make sure they check their voice mail, email, and other communication channels (like Twitter, Facebook, and other direct messaging) constantly.
If you can have a team of people who are constantly checking all these channels and answering all questions about your latest news right away, that would help in ensuring all inquiries (hard or soft) are dealt with right away.
Not only will reporters and journalists be messaging you with questions, but current and potential customers, other businesses, and perhaps even government agencies could be trying to get a hold of you. If you do it right, you could make this opportunity of yours, even bigger than you had imagined.
If you don’t do it right, your big news story could fizzle out, before it even began.
5. Don’t Hesitate to Use the Latest Trends in Your Favor
Is your story coming out at a time when there’s something else big going on? Instead of competing with it, why not jump on the bandwagon?
For example, if the biggest story in the world right now is Elon Musk and his space travel program, then why not use that story to your advantage and talk about how your product will make space travel even easier in the future? This is a simple example, but you get the idea.
If you can’t beat them, it’s better to join them. Some news stories are going to end up overpowering your news story if you don’t play it right. You don’t want to waste all your money and efforts promoting a news story, only to have it overshadowed by something else bigger.
Also, don’t hesitate to use trends on TikTok, Instagram, or other social media channels to your advantage. For example, you could get your entire team to do the latest Ice Bucket challenge or the latest dance that’s popular on TikTok. It could end up going viral and that could lead to the biggest media attention on you, all for free.
6. Storytelling Has the Biggest Payoff
Avoid being too technical. Instead, try to use the traditional technique of storytelling to get at your customers.
People don’t care if you have a new product launched. But they do care what the story behind the launch was, how you came about with the idea for the new product, and what hurdles you had to cross to launch the product.
Humans love stories. Science tells us that human brains are more engaged when listening to stories, and our whole brain gets engaged as opposed to only parts of it. Essentially, evolution has wired our brains for storytelling, so why not take advantage of this when trying to gain media attention?
Instead of being humdrum and boring by sharing technical details of your products or services, why not talk about how your founder almost quit halfway when creating the product but someone gave him the courage to keep going? Or how one of the engineers read an old African fairytale that caused her to find the solution to a product problem that was haunting her?
7. Show Them All Your Sides – Authenticity Is Key
Be transparent when it comes to sharing your story with the media. Reporters and journalists are a savvy bunch.
They are not going to be shocked by anything, but they will be inflamed if you lie to them in your news story.
The customers of today like authenticity. It’s not just a buzzword anymore, but a true path to gaining media attention in the right way.
If you are transparent with your audience, you are more likely to gain their empathic support, rather than if you lie to them and are caught midway.
Being transparent also means sharing any commercial relationships you might have that could undermine the objectivity of your story. Or to share all the sources of quotes, and other statistics you have in your article.
Also, let the journalists know when you are pitching to many of them at once. And what other media channels you are using. You are trying to build a long-term relationship here, not a one-off stance.
Media Attention Can Fizzle Out Fast, Unless Fanned Properly
The bright thing about getting media attention is that all the effort you put into it is going to repay you dozens of times over. Most people don’t even do the basics when it comes to dealing with media people, so if you put in even a little effort, it will show them that you are trying and they will appreciate that immensely.
Remember that once you have a formula in place, you can follow it again and again for your next newsworthy launches.
If you wish to keep on learning about other business trends, keep scrolling through our blog.