It was one of the most popular questions I heard when I was an Executive Producer with NBC.
“How can I get my business on the news?”
There is no magic formula to getting your service or product on the news, but there are guidelines that will increase your chances.
You can increase your chances for coverage by identifying what is different, new or unique about your business. It sounds simple but a lot of people forget that news is based on the root “new.”
If you don’t have that “new” component, your story is at a disadvantage. You might be able to find a new angle by asking pointed questions:
Is your business contributing to the local community in a unique way we might not expect?
Are you about to accomplish a feat where others have failed?
What is different between you and competitors?
Focus and Clarify your Pitch
The more you can clarify and focus your pitch, the better odds you have of getting your business on the news.
Finding a unique angle is not as difficult as it may sound. You just need to open your mind to timely events that impact and influence sales of your product or service. If you own a fashion or jewelry store, try to link your product to high-profile events like the Academy Awards or the Grammy Awards. If your business is geared towards a niche audience, like traveling business executives, scan the headlines for possible tie-ins to current events.
Biggest Mistakes Most Publicists Make
Not properly defining the story is one of the biggest mistakes most publicists make. Your success on pitching depends greatly on how well you define that story because in many cases, you may only get one shot at pitching your story idea. You can focus your story by understanding and applying the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How).
Who is this story about?
What is this story about?
Where is this story taking place?
When does your story take place?
Why should anyone care about your story?
How is your story, business, service or product changing lives?
The more you learn and understand the definition of “newsworthy,” the better chance you have of getting your story on the news. And once you successfully make that placement, you are better able to shape the message with the media.
Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC and Senior Producer with WCBS. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.