How to Sell your Story to the Media – PR Advice

By Mark Macias

There are several critical elements that lead to earned media, but if I had to sum it down to one word, I’d say it’s “editorial.”

Earned media is not about advertising your services to reporters. Journalists aren’t there to listen to a sales pitch. Their job is to identify the news angle.

MACIAS PR works with clients in different industries – healthcare, technology, digital health, nonprofits, consumer services. Our team is constantly speaking with journalists, reporters, writers and producers about news stories, across journalism beats.

Even though our stories vary by industry, we never push promotional material to reporters. It’s a critical differentiator that separates MACIAS PR from other PR firms. We only sell the news story that positions our client in the center of it.

Why News Editorial Matters with Reporters

You don’t want to sound like a car salesman when speaking with reporters. Yes, you need to summarize what your business does – and how you’re different from others. But that – in itself- doesn’t lead to a news story.

During my time with NBC and CBS, I listened to reporters and producers pitch stories daily in the morning meeting. At NBC, I approved the scripts and story ideas that came out of the Special Projects unit.

There were many times I had to tell the reporter – ‘this sounds too much like a commercial. Find a better source.’ You don’t want to ever hear a reporter say that behind the scenes about your interview. You can prevent this from happening by staying true to the news peg that led to the interview in the first place.

One more thing – publicists are notorious for their hype. Hype does not lead to news coverage, contrary to what many publicists will tell you.

Just saying this is a big news story, doesn’t make it so.

At MACIAS PR, our messaging communicates why this story has significance. At the root, that is editorial.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017 and 2018 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also a frequent contributor with CNBC and author of the books, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media and the Tao of PR.