Just like any other people, the media people (reporters, editors, editorial writers, bloggers, podcasters) respond to the same things as you do. They are drawn to like-minded people, who are interested in them and their families, who like them for who they are and not just interested in what they can provide instead.
Here are five tips which I believe can help you to win them over.
The first step towards knowing someone is to make a personal contact. If you want people to know more about you and your brand of products/ services, many times you need to make the first move. The best way will be through an introduction or referral to a particular person by a mutual friend or acquaintance. However, if that is not possible, what you need to do is to search for the name of the reporter or podcaster who writes or broadcast about the issues related to your niche.
It will be great if you know the name of the reporter when you are asking for them because if you ask for 'the entrepreneur podcaster' or "the business reporter", it will tell 2 things about you:
1) You are cold calling and someone who is calling without any connection to him/her or the media outlet, hoping to get something out from them.
2) You haven't bothered to do any research to find out who the entrepreneur podcaster or the business reporter is which will definitely lower down your chances of getting featured. Can you imagine sending a formal letter without bothering to check the spelling of the addressee or the correct address that you're sending to? Makes sense?
Remember in the previous article, I mentioned that I just used a set of template (huge chunk of words) and edit the names and just sent to them? According to singer and song-writer, Matthew Phillips, you should not do this ever if you truly want to work with influencers!
He also stated that on a daily basis, his booking agent gets companies putting his Booking email in their email lists. It's the absolute worst reach out strategy! He then shared: "It's truly sad. Just shooting a blanket statement to my management will get you no where! Same thing in my DMs. What everyone should do is to take the time to get to know the person through the content they've created. Read their captions. Do your homework! Than do as what Gary Vaynerchuck has instructed. Reach out and ask how you can help them. Bring them value. Don't ask for anything in return. Be genuine. Be patient. We get a lot of solicitations. Don’t be another one".
Fostering and growing these friendships are really important for you and your clients. Many a times, people always think that money can solve everything - even with press media or any forms of media publicity. Well, yes you can, unless if you are filthy rich and you are ready to spend. However, many of them forget about the other value which money can't buy and that is genuine relationships. This is something which bloggers, dee jays, journalists, podcasters, and every other human being on Earth treasure the most.
So, how can you build relationships with them? The answer is simple. Treat them the same way you make friends with other people. By being friendly and providing value with no expectation of return. I'm sure that's how you treat your family and best friends right?
One thing is for sure: relationships take time to grow. It is not built in an instant. You don't have to become their best friends in order to get media features. You have to establish yourself as someone that can be trusted to know what you are talking about. If you do not know what you are talking about or not coherent with what you are saying, then all the more this will turn their attention away from you.
Before you can get the media to 'work' for you, you need to get to know what the journalists or interviewers want. Research on the publication that he or she is working in and find out the key topics which he or she focuses on before you pitch your story.
If he or she has their own podcast, listen to it. Listen to the type of questions that they will be asking for during the show. This not only helps you to learn the type of content journalists/podcasters are looking for, but it also allows you to craft your story in a way that is relevant to them and their audience. Once a journalist realises that you have put in the time to research on them, they will tend to be more open to hearing your pitch.
Here's an example, if the podcast's theme is about gratitude, then go all in with the theme of gratitude. Do not talk about anything else except for Gratitude, unless the things that you are going to story tell have links to the theme of Gratitude. Makes sense?
If you do not go with the theme, guess what, it will not only make you look or sound awkward in the media, it will also bring your value down. If you do not understand what the question means, you can ask them to elaborate for you. There's no harm in doing that.
Conferences and events can be the best places for you to make that all important first face to face contact with them. As the saying goes, first impression is always the most important thing when you meet somebody new, hence, don't immediately talk about how you or your organization want to be featured on their covers or articles. Journalists are human too. Instead, socialize with them a little and get to know more about them before you invite them to meet you and your organization.
Remember, they are always busy with their work and your invite has to be worthwhile for them too. They will only accept your invite if you have something interesting to offer them that they couldn't receive over the phone or email, such as, seeing your work in action or the chance to meet a VIP.
Once you've spent time talking to a journalist/podcaster during networking events or via emails, take that extra step out of your comfort zone by asking them out for a face to face meet up. It could be done through a lunch or dinner or supper. It depends on both of your schedule and what's comfortable for you two. Meeting with a journalist or podcaster outside not only allows you to relax outside of your office or work environment, it also gives you the opportunity to solidify the friendship and find out more about themselves personally.
You can also follow them on Instagram/Snapchat/Facebook and share a thoughtful comment on whatever that they have written or shared on these social media platforms. You can join in the conversation or provide them with answers to questions that they may have raised. When you provide them with what they want, when they want it, it can turn into many more if the media finds that you are responsive, valuable and comfortable with handling an interview.
Special thanks to singer and song-writer, Matthew Phillips for his contribution- MatthewPhillipsmusic.com
I am a Transformation Catalyst. What I do is I pick the brains of the best entrepreneurs you have in this world such as Gary Vee, Grant Cardone and etc to find out from them what are some of the simple and effective steps that millennials like myself can take to experience success in the swiftest and most effective way possible.I do that through podcasting. The millennials who have listened to the podcast have experienced personal transformation because they have gotten the tips they need to move forward.