We’ve all been there – you have an interesting piece of news to share with the media, you’ve written a solid press release and/or pitch that adequately summarizes the news, you’re feeling great about your media list… and you’re hearing crickets.
If you’re giving it your all and your news still isn’t getting picked up in the press, consider these four factors that may be the cause of your PR woes.
1. You’re Targeting Media Who Aren’t Interested
Much like the proverbial tree falling in a deserted forest, if the right media isn’t hearing about what’s going on with your company, is it really happening?
Creating a list of reporters who actually want to receive your news is the most crucial component in media relations. You can write the most informative and interesting press release a journalist has ever read, but if he or she doesn’t write on the topic, it’s a moot point.
If you’re not having luck with media relations, consider revisiting – and even revamping – your media list.
2. You’re Ignoring The Trends
Here’s something many PR pros won’t tell you: It is completely possible to pitch a story that appears to be newsworthy and still not receive any pick-up in the media. Why? Because reporters are writing stories that are relevant, timely and follow a certain trend that’s likely already making headlines.
The good news is that once you’ve identified these trends, you’ll be fully equipped with the information you need to adjust your angle and make your news more relevant to reporters.
3. The News You’re Sending Doesn’t Pack Much Punch
We’ve been over this already, but I’ll repeat it here: when distributing information to the media, always ask yourself if the information you’re providing is actually newsworthy.
Sometimes, the news that’s sending a ripple effect through your company won’t make a splash with anyone (media or otherwise) outside of your organization. This isn’t because your news is unimportant or uninteresting; rather, it’s because you aren’t considering how your news will specifically impact those who aren’t directly affected by it.
Consider the articles you yourself might be reading on a regular basis, and ask yourself what it is about the content that pulls you in to read more. From there, you’ll be able to better ascertain why the news you’re pumping out isn’t making the same impact.
4. Your Timing Is Off
Timing is everything when it comes to getting your news picked up. As a general rule of thumb, announcements should be sent out at the beginning of the work week in order to reach the most journalists, and to provide yourself with plenty of time for follow-up emails and more research if needed.
When pitching media, always remember that journalists work on tight deadlines, and that a reporter’s week usually fills up very early on. Additionally, always be aware of when publications go to press. Sending news later in the week to a publication that prints every Friday means you’ve missed the weekly news cycle, and will likely have to wait another week before seeing your announcement in print. By then, it’s possible that the journalist will lose interest because the information you’ve provided to him or her is no longer new, thus rendering it irrelevant.
Navigating the midfield of media relations takes time, skill and a lot of patience. Learning how to pinpoint how you can improve early on will be a giant help in the long run.