Getting Great Consumer Hits: 10 Steps to More & Better Media Coverage (Part II: Steps 6-10)

I recently put together a blog post with steps one through five for getting more and better consumer media coverage.  Here’s a look at steps six through 10:

6. Create Expert Tips/Top Five Lists – Pitch the reporter with a top five list pertaining to your client’s product. Some examples include the top five places to hear sounds better (re: sound enhancement product) or the top ways to maximize summer value and fun (re: travel discount card). Offer up the client as an expert and work your product into the pitch as an example. The idea here is to give reporters a fresh idea for a new story or post without your product coming across like an advertisement (which turns away reporters).

7. Build the Relationship – Begin to foster the relationship with the reporter from day one. This will put you ahead of the pack when contacting the reporter for your client’s launch or other announcement. Reaching out early ensures that you have the right contact; learn the reporter’s communication preferences and see what upcoming topics and trends the reporter is covering.  Sending an intro email is another way to get on the reporter’s radar.

8. Leverage Reporters Across Accounts – Pitch reporters across accounts to help generate momentum with new clients. For example, do you know a consumer producer who might want to book a new client? Or perhaps a medical reporter that switched to the financial beat that will cover a new investment advisor client? Making the connections across accounts is not always obvious – thinking outside the box will help to connect the reporter to new clients while strengthening the relationship with the reporter.

9. Master the List – Leverage your media database to put together a strong media list.  This step might seem obvious, but I’ve found that fully mastering allthe advanced features of your media database can lead to additional contacts and coverage. For example, most databases offer the ability search for keywords in reporter titles such as “consumer” or “new products,” which I’ve found helpful when offering up new consumer products for review.  Always prepare to vet your list in advance of your pitch as contacts often switch beats.

10. Pick Up the Phone – Add the phone to your pitching toolkit.  Is relying on email enough when the top reporters are getting 100+ pitches a day and juggling deadlines, breaking news and special requests from their editors?  My teams haveused the phone to their advantage when we’ve done our research on the reporter, know our technology inside and out, and simply haven’t heard back by email. However, the phone is not always appropriate, such as when the reporters are deadline or they already said “no” through email.

A copy of my presentation is available here.

Post by Michael Levey
Zer0 to 5ive Director
Twitter: @mikelevey