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Step-by-Step to Getting on the News

by | May 10, 2021

It’s that time of year again! Spring and summer are the seasons for fresh starts, and with the global pandemic coming to a (hopeful) end with the administering of vaccines it’s time to take another look at your messaging and marketing/PR goals.

One of the main goals for our PR clients is simply getting noticed and on the news, but how do we accomplish that? Below is Nichols’ step-by-step process to get our clients covered by the news.

Step 1: Establish key messages and goals

One of the first things we do with our clients is explore key messages with organizational leaders. We ask them what the public needs to know about their organization and what differentiates them from their competitors. From there, we establish appropriate and reachable goals. What do we want to happen in the next 6 months? How about the next year? How will we measure these goals?

All of this requires a team effort, not just between us and our client, but between our internal team and their internal teams.

Step 2: Establish a brand story

A brand story is a narrative that encompasses the facts, feelings and tone of a brand. This is created by the organization so that each form of communication hits the same key messages and is consistently told. Repetition of an organization’s mission aids in building brand awareness.

Step 3: Create a contact list

Research relevant media and reporters. Then, create a contact list. News stations and reporters on your list should be local, but also should include magazines, trade publications or newspapers that cover your industry. If your organization is in the healthcare field and regularly conducts studies regarding new trends or new medical devices, ensuring that a reporter from Modern Healthcare is on your list would be a good step forward.

Step 4: List all upcoming events and product launches

Outline a list of all upcoming organizational events, product launches, studies, etc. These are great excuses to push out a press release or news pitch to garner media and public attention.

Step 5: Create a distribution calendar

Create a distribution calendar based on timeliness and newsworthiness. This way, you can anticipate releases or pitches that need to be written, potential coverage and fill in spaces where a month might be a little quieter than others. Be sure to have the appropriate contact and approvals ready before distributing a release in case media is ready to run with the story right away.

Step 6: Establish a relationship

Contact the reporters on your list and introduce yourself. In order to be a trusted and reliable resource to your contacts, you first need to establish a relationship. It can be a little uncomfortable at first, but the payoff is well worth getting past your comfort zone.

Step 7: Be persistent

Regularly pitch stories and press releases to the same contacts (if applicable) and make yourself known and recognized as a leader in your organization’s industry. Along with persistency, making sure your email subject catches a reporter’s attention can go a long way.

Step 8: Become a resource

Lastly, we advise our clients to follow up with reporters to see how they can help fill any immediate need or holes for a reporter’s written publication or broadcast time. You’ve already started forming a relationship, so this is another great excuse to be in touch with your contacts and be viewed as a reliable resource and aid.

Need help getting your company in the news? Send us a note! We’d be happy to discuss your goals and how we could help accomplish them! You can contact me at mbakle@wetellyourstory.com.

Maggie Bakle - PR Specialist
Smart, experienced and extremely dedicated to her clients, Maggie Bakle is a strong believer in the power of PR. A Fort Wayne native, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Indiana University and a master’s degree in public relations at Michigan State University. Before joining Nichols in 2017, she earned valuable experience in public relations and using social media to promote clients during a stint with another Fort Wayne agency. She’s also a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Her level of experience, knowledge and expertise makes her a force to be reckoned with in the Fort Wayne market, a place she believes is positioned to become a real powerhouse in the Midwest.

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