Everything starts with good research. Be prepared before you reach out. Know the needs of your customers, know your competitors, know buzzwords and trends featured in the media related to your topic, know the influencers and experts on the topic of your business.
Welcome to another installment of our PR Strategy Series, where you can learn directly from top industry experts on how you can leverage media attention to grow your business.
I’m your host, Kage Spatz — here to help entrepreneurs, coaches, and service providers save more time, build more trust, and serve more customers. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Melanie Marten.
Melanie Marten brings more than a decade of experience helping top brands in technology, B2B, and lifestyle boost their brand visibility. With her PR agency The Coup based in Berlin, Germany and Athens, Greece, she empowers people and brands to lead in a purposeful economy.
This means, her clients form lasting relationships with their prospects and clients because she cuts through the fluff to ensure their messages shine authentically. She is also the founder of the expert network PRontheGO, where global PR and Growth Consultants provide free advice to founders.
Thank you so much for joining us! Before we dive in, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you got started?
I figured out quite early in my life that I want to pursue the Public Relations profession. After a few years of working as a freelancer in this field and at the age of 25 in 2010, I started my own agency The Coup in Berlin, whilst studying journalism to gain a deeper understanding.
My experience grew, and the clients and teams became bigger over the years. Now, 11 years later, I am still highly passionate about the PR profession and am sure that this will be what I will be doing until my retirement.
What do you think separates your agency from others in the space?
The Coup is an owner-managed PR agency, so every client is in weekly update calls with me instead of an account manager, and I manage a remote team to implement the PR strategy and execute the outreach. I strongly believe in Public Relations as a driving force for Business Development. This means the strategic approach to communications and outreach incorporates all aspects of the business — from product development to sales goals.
I am highly aware of the power of Public Relations and also the responsibility to drive business. Furthermore, I select clients not from their size, but from their corporate culture and business philosophy. Our clients have to be purpose-driven and simply nice — not only to us but to their employees. Happy teams also support PR with positive social interactions for their employer.
As a successful business leader, which character traits do you think were most instrumental in getting you to where you are today?
Resilience — When starting a business with little entrepreneurial experience for me my ability to be resilient is what was needed to turn my venture into a thriving business. Practically speaking: do not give up when facing hardship, and be willing to work long hours for years. Then, one day, things will start to turn around. My work experience gained value to a point where it would become easier to acquire clients and deliver top performances.
Self-motivation (or discipline) — When you are a service provider for businesses you have a responsibility towards them because of the fact that they decided to put part of their investments into you. Self-motivation comes easy when you love what you do, which is the case with me for my profession. However, still it needs a certain amount of pure discipline to get things done.
Positive attitude — There are times when things do not work out in your favor. This is where I had to learn to remain optimistic, and just surrender to let’s say “a bad week”. It enormously helped me to develop a positive attitude where I assume the best. Things just start turning around when you stay positive!
What 3 media strategies would you consider being most effective in generating more business for a national brand?
1. National Media Coverage
Everything starts with good research. Be prepared before you reach out. Know the needs of your customers, know your competitors, know buzzwords and trends featured in the media related to your topic, know the influencers and experts on the topic of your business. Only when a business gains this knowledge they can find their niche — no matter how broad the product or services can be targeted, you would need this niche to stick out.
From there, you create a clear messaging to start to position yourself within networks, via press releases and content. You can identify influential social media accounts and media outlets for your topic with SparkToro. A fast way of discovering the best journalists for your pitches is to use BuzzStream Discovery.
2. Content Marketing
Start your Content Marketing efforts efficiently by publishing deep dives about the same buzzwords and trends you are pitching in press releases to journalists. Content Marketing can support a media strategy if it provides further knowledge that the business “gives away”. This way, it can strengthen your position and support to push certain topics on the agenda of editorial departments.
3. Thought Leadership
Give your brand a face by building up a founder or C-level person in the company as a thought leader on your business topic(s). The thought leader is the person who drives interaction via LinkedIn, Twitter, Clubhouse, and co. A thought leader publishes guest articles in trade publications and is introduced as a potential interview partner to journalists.
Great advice! Let’s explore what the next steps would be after a business has been covered by the media. What are your “5 Ways To Leverage that Media Coverage To Dramatically Grow Your Business”?
1. Share Your Media Coverage
Journalists want their articles to be seen, too. As soon as there is an article about your business or mentioning your business out, share the publication with your team, via your social media channels, your company newsletter, and within your network to have it read. Publications about your business are perceived like success news — so spread the good news!
Boxing fitness brand SPARBAR® is powered by kids and youth talents and pro athletes who are the brand’s ambassadors. Whenever there is a great article about SPARBAR® published, the ambassadors proudly share the news within their social media channels.
2. Pitch other media formats
Got featured in a print /online article? Use this as a reference to reach out to broadcast journalists, and pitch the same story angle for coverage on TV, radio, video, or for speaking opportunities.
3. As Seen In
Refer to the media placement on your website, integrate it ‘as seen in’ in your sales collateral, and, if the thought leader of your business has been quoted, add a link in the bio. Media publications provide reference and assurance to your customers and for future journalist inquiries.
4. Deep dives
Refer to the media article in your Content Creation activities when publishing a deep dive on the topic that was discussed as a blog article.
5. Create the evolution
A specific news angle was covered by the journalist. Now is your opportunity to continue to tell the story from there — plan press releases that follow up with the development on trends and industry insights covered in the article.
One more before we go: If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Entrepreneurship and leadership is hard work. Entrepreneur Demee Koch inspired me by reminding everyone that it is also a privilege. This privilege should come with a responsibility to give back — to open doors for others, to share knowledge, and to truly support a good cause. I join Demee on the quest for entrepreneurs to get involved in making the world a better place.
With this movement, a new face of honorable entrepreneurship can emerge, where founders and CEOs are accessible and committed to causes outside of a profit motive.
Wonderful. Thank you for sharing your valuable insights with us all!
Author: Kage Spatz is a Forbes-ft. Strategist for Good — helping you extract max value out of every marketing dollar in 2021. Leverage the same team outsourced by an NBA franchise, Fortune 500, & high-end PR agencies to organically increase traffic, trust, and sales on autopilot (without paying for ads). Transform the effectiveness of your PR by preparing for it like the pros with Spacetwin.