How To Get Your Company Mentioned in the Media
While running digital marketing campaigns is great for building your brand and your sales funnel, few things can skyrocket your brand's popularity like being mentioned in the media. What better way to understand how popularity in the media works than learning from a successful editor?
Jason Feifer is the editor in chief for Entrepreneur Media. He also has experience with Men's Health, Fast Company, Maxim, Boston Magazine, the Washington Post, Slate, and others. In terms of gaining media exposure, there is no better professional to get insights from than Jason.
Several of our previous podcast episodes have dealt with the up-and-coming Clubhouse app. While today's post isn't about Clubhouse, it only serves to reinforce the importance of the new app that we met Jason Feifer there. As Jason notes, Clubhouse is the perfect place for people to network. The ability to attract followers and engage with important players in your industry is unparalleled.
Many of the aspects we've discussed regarding Clubhouse come into play when trying to get your company in the media. Having a strategy and offering value are the key aspects of a sound approach to your PR.
How Does a Company Get Mentioned in the Media?
Getting mentioned in the media means nothing if you can't get on the right stage. Furthermore, you need to get on a stage where the audience is looking to your performance, so to speak. The most important thing is to target your story to a publication that is going to be interested in telling it because it will be valuable to their readers.
An editor's job is not to serve your company but to serve their publication's readers. Consider editors as gatekeepers for their audiences. A good editor will seek to offer value to their readership and avoid trying to stuff irrelevant content down their throats.
What does this mean for you? You have to make clear why your story will be valuable to a publication's audience. Think of it as selling your content directly to the reader. If the audience will find value in it, you can bet the editor will give your company consideration.
You will need to adjust your approach depending on the media outlet you are reaching out to. Don't create a one size fits all pitch and start mass mailing it out to editors. Tell your story differently depending on who you're reaching out to.
This is a tactic that successful job-seekers use. Rather than blasting out a resume to hundreds of companies, they create a specific one for each company they are applying to. In each case, they highlight the skills and job experience that are more relevant to each employer. Approaching the media about your business should be no different. Editors do not want to spend their time looking through cookie-cutter pitches.
How Do You Generate a Compelling Message?
Now that you're determined to get your company in the media and know that you must focus on the end audience, you need to understand how to produce a compelling message. An editor is the most likely recipient of this message and Jason Feifer is the ideal person to tell you how to generate it.
As Jason notes, he isn't interested in success stories per se. In his case, he is running a magazine about thinking and creative problem-solving. His goal is to help his audience find entrepreneurial growth hacks, not to hype up your brand.
What makes Jason interested in your story could be an interesting problem you faced along the way or a unique path you took in achieving success. These kinds of stories inspire readers and give them valuable insights they can assimilate into their businesses.
When communicating with an editor or other stakeholder in the process. Send a brief and compelling e-mail that gets right to the point. There's no need for fluff as it will end up backfiring on you.
Determine what the publication that you are targeting is obsessed with. Who is their audience based on how they present information? Think of it as a 30-second car commercial. Who are the people featured in the ad? Why was it made the way it was? Answering questions like these will let you know who the publication targets and what messages it broadcasts to its audience.
If you don't feel like you are well-versed in this, you can hire a publicist. However, not all publicists are competent in getting you the exposure you need. Running into a less than optimal publicist can end up doing you more harm than good. Fortunately, pitching your company to an editor is something you can do yourself if you spend the time on it. As an editor for top publications, Jason Feifer gets lots of pitches to cover funding rounds.
Entrepreneur doesn't cover this aspect of business. This is something that people would know if they took the effort to read through a few issues of the magazine. Spending a little time seeing what your targeted publication is publishing will improve your ability to pitch correctly.
Building rapport is good but in a bustling business environment, it isn't necessary. If you are authentic and take the right approach, you won't need to create that kind of deep connection.
Do not ask for anything! Approaching someone superficially and then hitting them with a request is a bait and switch that editors don't appreciate. It will end up closing a door that would οtherwise be open for getting your message out to the world. Also, it's offensive as it makes people feel like you are only using them.
What Is a Perfect Pitch?
Jason states that there is no such thing as a perfect pitch. E-mails, in-person conversations, DMs, or a session on Clubhouse can all lead to a story. If you have the mindset and the overall framework of what an editor is looking for, you will find a way to craft the best pitch.
Be friendly, human, and cater to the person who is being pitched. It's no different than pitching an investor. Keep their needs at heart and you will have a high chance of success. The more you know about the person you are pitching, the better you can tailor your pitch in a way that provides value to their audience.
About Jason Feifer
Jason Feifer has a podcast called Build for Tomorrow. It's a show about the crazy things in history and the way they shaped us. Jason's podcast focuses on how you can effect big change by starting small.