Tips for getting into the news

I’m always surprised by people’s perception of how hard it is to get their story into magazines and newspapers. It’s normally because people are so worried about it, they don’t even try!

If you work in a particular industry sector, there are probably trade publications that cater for your market, for instance in marketing and advertising there is Marketing Week, Marketing, Campaign. In retail there is The Grocer, Retail Week etc. These publications are all written for people who work in the industry, and they need stories to fill their pages.

These magazines and newspapers often rely on advertising to stay in business but don’t be led up the garden path by thinking that you have to advertise in order to get any editorial coverage.

If you have a genuinely interesting or newsworthy story, you should send a press release with the details.

What makes a newsworthy story?

Have a look at the magazine. What other stories have they published? Who were they from? What kind of details were included?

Have you launched a new product, created a new service, employed a key member of staff, had a significant business birthday, moved premises, invented a new way of working, taken part in a charity event? All these things might generate a bit of coverage in the right publication.

It’s worth a phone call to establish who might be the best person to send it to, and to check their contact details. It’s also a good way to establish some rapport before your email appears.

I’m not suggesting you’ll make the front page of the national press, but even if you simply appear in the news section of your industry trade press, you will be getting free publicity and can start to build up a collection of press cuttings.

What to include

  • What’s the story? A brief summary or headline e.g. ‘Company x celebrates 10 years in business’
  • Who’s the client? If you’re a supplier working for a big name client, ask their permission to use their name for added kudos
  • What’s interesting about the project/story? Try and think of anything unusual or unique that makes your story interesting e.g. celebrating 10 years in business by opening another store/launching a new product/having a star-studded party
  • Details – specifications of the project, obstacles overcome, innovations
  • Include a quote – it could be from your MD, a supplier, a happy client
  • Provide results – what happened, what’s likely to happen, what’s the outcome?
  • Offer a photograph, but make it a good one. No fuzzy or low resolution photos – high quality, well composed pictures bring a story to life
  • Include prominent contact details so that if the journalist has any questions, it’s easy to come back to you

Just give it a go – you might be surprised at the results.

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