Press releases are dead and so are the careers of the PR Directors who still rely on them. As your industry evolves, so should you. If you want press coverage, put yourself in the shoes of the people writing the stories and ask: “what do THEY need to succeed?” The media, regardless of their level of influence, are people just like you and me. Journalists put their shoes on one foot at a time, can often be seen drinking water from the faucet and are one company-wide wave of layoffs away from losing their jobs. And it’s your ability to identify and empathize with that universal fear and insecurity that will make you an expert in journalism.
Members of the media and the companies they work for are firmly entrenched in a battle for clicks and the competition is fierce, not to mention vast. No longer are columnists and reporters simply battling other “journos” for news; thanks to social media, literally anyone with an internet connection can break a story. The pressure to be first is enormous.
So, tell me, when are these women and men going to have time to 1) find your email, 2) open your email and 3) read your email? The reality is, they’re not. Unless you give them no choice.
Journalists are addicts and their drug of choice is the exclusive. An exclusive can come in many forms:
- EXCLUSIVE RELEASE RIGHTS: Where a brand gives a single media outlet exclusive access to a story. If your destination is a cover story, this is your route.
- FIRST RELEASE RIGHTS: Where a brand allows a single outlet the opportunity to break a news story first, followed closely behind by the rest of the country.
- EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: Where a brand provides an outlet with exclusive, never before seen content.
- EXCLUSIVE ACCESS: Where a brand gives an outlet special access to elements of a story unavailable to their competition, including things like interviews, behind the scenes content capture opportunities and more.
At the end of the day, journalists have jobs they want to keep and bosses they want to keep happy, just like everyone else. The better you are at helping them do those things, the more likely they are to give you the headlines you want.