How to Generate Your Own PR Opportunities
You don’t need to wait for someone else to give you an opportunity—you can create your own. With a little creativity and elbow grease, you can get media attention even if your company is just starting out or has a tight marketing budget.
Before we get started, let’s define what a public relations opportunity actually is. A PR opportunity is an occurrence that you can take advantage of to get media attention for your company.
1) Monitor the News
By following the news and being aware of current events and industry breakthroughs, you can keep abreast of what’s happening in the world. You can do this by setting up Google Alerts for key terms related to your industry, subscribing to relevant newsletters, and following key influencers and publications on social media.
Ideally, you need to be reading publications that your customers read and getting a feel for what is important to them. This will also give you a chance to understand the sections or segments of a publication, channel, page where your story might fit in.
2) Know Your Target Media Outlets
Your goal here is twofold: first, identify which outlets make sense for your story, and second, make sure you know what type of content each outlet covers.
Perhaps the media you like to read or feel is read by your target customer might not actually be the media your customers read. If you want to get covered by a specific outlet, take some time to understand the target audience and gear stories for this medium towards that segment.
For example, if you want to get covered by a business news outlet, your story will probably need to be about something new or innovative that is happening in your industry. If you want to get covered by a local news publication, stories need to be geared appropriately for a more general interest audience.
3) Have a Compelling Story to Tell
Of course, even the most targeted media outlet won’t be interested in your story if it isn’t interesting. Stories don’t even need to be about you, but having an opinion or view on current affairs or industry news always helps.
This is much harder if you have had low visibility in the past, as it's difficult to come up with a story that is newsworthy when you’re starting from scratch. However, there are creative ways to get around this: for example, by piggybacking on current trends (newsjacking in PR-speak).
4) Write a Great Pitch Email
Once you’ve identified your target media outlets and crafted a compelling story, it’s time to reach out and pitch your story idea. The key here is to write a great pitch email—one that will hook the recipient’s attention and persuade them to learn more about your story.
Keep your pitch short and sweet. Journalists are busy people and do not want to wade through a pitch that reads like a wall of text. Instead, introduce yourself, summarize your story and why this will interest [insert the name of media channel’s] audience and leave a call to action.
5) Follow Up
If you don’t hear from the recipient within a week, it’s perfectly acceptable—and even encouraged—to follow up once or twice. You might just get a straight ‘no’. You might get a positive response. If you have crafted an engaging email, the journalist may get back to you in a brief space of time.
Creating your own PR opportunities takes time, effort and perseverance. You may think your story is the most compelling and the media will lap it up. But even the best stories need to be pitched well and to the right outlet to stand a chance of getting covered.
There are no shortcuts in PR, and even if your story doesn’t get picked up this time around, you’ll be one step closer to getting that all-important media coverage. You may even have picked up a contact for future engagement.
We hope you found this post interesting and valuable. Do keep us in mind should you be looking to step up your media engagement.
Eight PR specializes in Law PR, Technology PR and Wealth Management PR helping clients to stand out from the competition.
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