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Want To Learn How to Earn Media Coverage? These 39 Communication Pros Explain How


So you just started a business. You probably want to get the word out. You want some marketing. But where do you start?

“Marketing” means to take measures to help bring your product or service to the market. There are two basic means of marketing, Paid Media and Earned Media.

Paid Media includes advertising such as a TV ad or a Facebook ad. The advantage of paid media is that it is fairly early to obtain, and it can also be targeted to a very specific demographic. The drawback of Paid Media is that it is less credible or believable. Consumers know that anyone can pay for an advertisement.

Earned Media is another form of marketing. Earned media is when a company or individual is discussed in an editorial or journalistic segment, like this ThriveGlobal article, for example. The advantage of Earned Media is that it is much more credible, because there is an assumption that the journalist or editors chose to cover the company or individual based on merit and not because there was any financial exchange. The drawback of Earned Media is that it is much more difficult to obtain.

So indeed, how does one earn, Earn Media? I turned to more than 40 prominent publicists, people who’s job is to help people earn media coverage, to share their top tips to get featured in the Media. Here are their ideas:


Lamont Johnson, CEO, The Art Department, LLC

My Communications Background

Lamont Johnson is the CEO/Founder of The Art Department, LLC, which is a premier public relations firm that has clients in a wide array of industries including: beauty, fashion, lifestyle, health, business, entertainment and more. His company aggressively pitches clients for stories, segments, and profiles, which in turn, bring exposure to their businesses and the products/services that they are selling. Aside from pitching his own clients, he often consults with other PR firms (both smaller and larger) on how to garner placements for their clients.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Pitching is an art — and make this art a priority. There are many aspects to our career as publicists. Writing press releases, conference calls, creating PR plans, coordinating interviews, and more. But no matter how busy you are doing these things (which ARE important), always have on your pitching hat.

Make sure your pitch is a fit to the outlet/contact that you’re pitching to. With pitching, make sure that your pitch is a good fit for the outlet, writer, or producer that you’re pitching to. For example, if an outlet covers fashion, you should not be pitching your food and beverage client. But — — in that fashion magazine, they may have a F&B column. It is your job to find out and find that writer (who contributes to that column), if your client requests to be featured in that outlet. So many people pitch media daily, so they are often inundated with emails and calls, so please save their time (and yours) by making sure you are pitching something that makes sense.

Timing is everything. Please take heed to this, especially when expecting coverage. For instance, if you are pitching a product for a Father’s Day Gift Guide (which usually runs in late May/early June), you may want to start pitching this in February if you plan to get this featured in a printed magazine — as they have a much longer lead time than newspapers or online outlets.

Follow up with media. There are times where a media outlet will respond to your pitch, set up an interview then go radio-silent. It is your job to follow up with that outlet to make sure that the story gets published or that segment airs. This follow up can range from a simple phone or an email. But please do not get pushy with a journalist about writing the story. A simple call stating, “Hello. I was just calling about [your client] and wanted to see if you need anything else from me for the feature.” That is a pleasant way of keeping it on their radar.

Media Tracking. Whether its Cision or Melt Water, it is important for you to track your placements. There is nothing worse than pitching a story, getting interests, sending information/pictures, setting up interviews, and totally missing the placement when it runs. Even if you don’t have software, monitor the web, created Google Alerts for your clients, comb the web, frequent newsstands, DVR the segments. Don’t let the placement run and disappear.

Briana Feigon, Director of Global Communications, Tictail

My Communications Background

Briana Feigon is the Director of Global Communications at Tictail, the shopping destination home to the world’s greatest emerging designers. Feigon leads the brand’s global communications strategy: everything from PR to social media, events to partnerships. Prior to Tictail, Feigon worked at the PR agency, LaunchSquad, where she elevated the stories of consumer-facing technology brands including Facebook and Jet.com. Outside of work, she loves practicing Iyengar yoga, hosting dinner parties, and buying excessive amount of denim.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. The Power of a Great Second Impression — as a PR person, it’s not enough to send one great pitch out of the blue to a reporter you’ve never spoken to in your life. Being experts in our field means making strong first impressions with reporters — that’s a given — but then coming back with an equally great second (and third and fourth and fifth) impression. What types of notes are you sending reporters when you’re not asking for coverage? How are you showing that you follow their writing and connect with their social media content and have similarities with them on a deeper level than the all-too-common email intro, “Happy Friday! Reaching out to see if…” Reporters want to work with PR people they know and trust and taking the time to build a sustained relationship with your media contacts is key.

2. Take a Breath — I know I know, things need to move fast in PR. But when you’re moving too frantically, do make silly mistakes that really annoy journalists. Like, copy pasting a pitch with the wrong editor’s name / wrong outlet. Like, pitching the same person your colleague just got a rejection from. Like, inviting a group of influencers to a launch event… on the wrong date. We always have time for a breath to regroup, think critically about what’s going on, and to try to proactively answer questions before they’re asked of us. Things I like to do: read a pitch out loud before clicking send, walking away from a proposal for an afternoon before taking a final read, triple checking the dreaded Reply All!

3. Would YOU Buy It? — You need to ask yourself, “Would I read an article about xx?” “Do I think this is change the world?” Would I go out of my way to buy this product?” “Do I care about this innovative, disruptive, industry-leading, direct-to-consumer, omnichannel community?” If you answer no to any of these questions, a reporter’s also likely going to kindly decline your pitch. So before writing that press release, before putting together your media list, and before sending your third follow up to the same unresponsive editor, make sure that you’re truly pitching a story worth telling.

Jacquie Jordan, Two-Time Emmy Nominated TV Producer, Author and New York Times Bestselling Publisher

My Communications Background

Jacquie Jordan is the founder of the ten year old Silicone Beach based TVGuestpert, TVGuestpert Publishing and TVOnCameraTraining.com. TVGuestpert is a media development company that raises the profile of the Guestpert in the media and grows their client’s core business. With TVGuestpert, Jacquie works with businesses on their branding, promotion, marketing, producing and development, as well as their on-camera execution.

Jacquie has been involved in booking, supervising or producing as many as 10,000+ television guests. Her reign has come from successfully launching and executing many syndicated daytime programs and cable shows. Known for her ability to find the heart of any story, Jacquie garnered her second Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Show on Donny & Marie (Sony Pictures Television).

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Put a Hook on Your Pitch

• So no matter how compelling your pitch is, you simply have to develop a strong hook that will enable you to attract the interest of producers time and time again. And not just one hook. No sir. Television shows change focus along with the seasons. They roll with current events and trends. You need hooks for all manner of “weather,” from rain to snow to shine.

Building a Solid Platform

• Platform: Your platform is the action behind your business plan that backs what you do and what you claim you can do.

• Building your platform, shaping the media profile you are seeking is going to take a lot of trial and error and time. It is imperative that you remember this: You need to show us what you’ve got, not just what you do.

Matching Your Hook with the Right Show

There are three key factors to consider when matching your hook to the right show.

• First, your hook itself.

• Secondly, timeliness.

• Third, the show’s format.

Brenda Loughery and Tracey Henry, Type A Media

My Communications Background

Type A Media is a public relations and communications agency devoted to the cannabis lifestyle, brands and media. Type A Media founders and partners Tracey Henry and Brenda Loughery have emerged as thought leaders in the emerging field of cannabis communications, often lending their expertise and insights to panels and discussions with influential media, organizations and at events. The agency serves clients nationwide and has offices in California and New York.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. Know YOUR brand story. The legal cannabis industry, for example, is in the midst of the so-called the “Green Rush,” and there is no shortage of new brands and products emerging in the market daily. That puts a premium on coverage in top media: both the cannabis-focused and the growing segment of mainstream media that is covering the industry. There is huge competition among brands to set themselves apart and earn coverage. Cut through the noise by learning how to clearly explain who you are, both verbally and in writing. Communicate your vision and brand in an effective way, and reporters will be more likely to take notice.

2. Know YOUR media. Once considered a “fringe” niche, cannabis media is a larger and more diverse group than ever before, and today, even “establishment” media has writers covering cannabis — and their time is precious. Reporters, especially freelancers, don’t appreciate having their time wasted with stories that are far afield of their beat, or “cool ideas” that aren’t stories at all. Do your own research before reaching out to show that you value the reporter’s time and attention. Understand their area of coverage (or hire a PR expert, whose business it is to know these things!). Be prepared with the kind of collateral they would need to include you in coverage — e.g., product images press release, bios, etc.

3. Know YOUR competition. In a large-yet-niche market like the cannabis industry, competitors can also be allies. Seek out opportunities to team up and pursue coverage as a group — as the saying goes, “once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend.” Presenting a way to promote your brand in the form of a complete story idea (with available co-subjects) can be very attractive to writers, who in turn have to often pitch their editors. So if you’re DIY-ing it as your own publicist, remember there is strength in numbers!”

Kristen Tischhauser, Co-founder & CEO, talkTECH

My Communications Background

As Co-founder & CEO, Kristen Tischhauser brings over a decade of public relations and marketing experience to talkTECH (http://talktechcomm.com). Under Kristen’s direction, the agency has developed into one of the fastest-growing U.S. PR firms for early-stage and established tech startups. She has managed communications for over $300M in collective venture capital funding announcements and facilitated media coverage for over 250 startups since the company’s inception eight years ago.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1-Look at what’s going on in the news (what’s trending) and see how you can insert yourself or product into the conversation aka current stories. Publicists call this a “newsjack”.

2-Do research on the journalists you’re pitching. Look at past articles they’ve written. If your pitch is irrelevant, they may put your future emails in their spam box. If your product has competition, take a look at their past coverage and pitch those journalists. Most likely those journalists cover your industry and would be interested in what you’re pitching.

3-Thought leadership pieces — don’t forget about this approach to garnering earned media! Offering exclusive thought leadership pieces to media outlets are a roundabout way to garner earned media coverage, help your credibility and position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Lindsey Myers, Founder, Concrete Blonde Consulting

My Communications Background

Lindsey Myers founded Concrete Blonde Consulting in November 2016 to pursue her passion for building reputations and revenues through marketing and PR solutions. A communications expert and entrepreneur, she has over thirteen-years of experience serving various industries including consumer products and services, lifestyle, hospitality and nonprofit companies in NYC and the Hamptons luxury market.

Recognized as a strategic leader, she has earned a track record for counseling clients, including Fortune 500 companies such as NAPCO Security, Inc., to increase profits, manage brand reputations and gain market share.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Tip #1 — Be Relevant — The news is comprised of things that are happening right NOW! That means if you are looking to position your brand you need to be offering up info that is relevant at this very moment. We always recommend that clients tailor pitches to be in line with current events and/or take a look at the calendar and tailor news to national holidays.

Tip #2 — Be Authentic — Everyone has a “”native genius”” something they do better than anyone else, and so does your company. Stay true to that and stay on message. You can’t be everything to everyone and these days you don’t even have to try. It’s easier than every for companies to be true to their core values and still find an audience.

Tip #3 — Pitch Apples-to-Apples — Now that your pitch is relevant and authentic, you’ve gotta find the right place for it. But, fear not, if your product is really tailored to people who wear green everyday and drive three-wheelers, the good news is, you can find those people. Do a little research and find the right publications and micro-communities where “”your people”” live. If you message is relevant, authentic and in line with the publications audience — — you’re golden!

Christina Towle, Founder, BuzzBright PR

My Communications Background

Christina Towle received her B.A. from Princeton University and has worked in production for Manhattan media companies including Wiley, Forbes Magazine, and ABC News helping with the launch of Good Morning America Weekend starting September 4, 2004. She has a proven track record of placements within national outlets utilizing consumer, medical, and natural brand media including Huffington Post, Redbook, Oprah, NBC news, Whole Foods Magazine, The Examiner, and Dr. Oz Show. In 2009, Christina was certified as a Clinical Nutritionist from The Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy, which is why she is keen on promoting wellness brands and notable health influencers and celebrities. @_christinaliv

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Passion: To attract attention you need to authentically be promoting brands and people that you sincerely use, follow, and recommend. There is a energy that follows true belief and people respond to that energy with enthusiasm. I work and use the health-inspiring brands I promote because the better I feel, the more I achieve!

Learn the Story: Study a brand or person as if you are writing a thesis or New York Times front page article on them. From source to present, learn every detail and angle of the brand or client’s background. This will assist in posturing placement among different platforms. Also, grow with their story…continue to tweak and update it…which will encourage evergreen opportunities and top news features.

Build your Tribe: We know in marketing that it takes multiple impressions for someone to stop, click, and buy. The same is for getting people to try, experience, and share about a brand or person. A publicist doesn’t stand out for simply sending samples and sharing press releases. However, we do standout when we develop relationships with the media — become friends on social, check-in on their calendar, and actually help them craft stories that feature the brands or talent we represent.

Samantha DiGennaro, Founder & CEO, DiGennaro Communications

My Communications Background

Since she founded DiGennaro Communications (DGC) in 2006, Samantha DiGennaro’s PR counsel is considered invaluable. Today, DGC ranks as one of the leading agencies shining a light on executives, companies and entrepreneurs looking to grow, develop and position themselves as successful leaders and a source of inspiration and insight to the market. Sam’s energy, creativity and vision drives DGC’s culture and sets the tone for deep and longstanding client, press, industry and influencer relationships.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Build your credibility with the press: Many executives want to be featured in top-tier media outlets, but getting high-profile press coverage out of the gate is a pretty rare occurrence. I recommend that executives work to build relationships with reporters. For example, you can offer briefings over coffee that allow you to showcase your industry smarts or story ideas, and you can also proactively share your POV on news of the day that is relevant to your area of expertise. Building relationships in this way allows for there to be a true value exchange. Once you’ve built a relationship with a reporter, a news feature or profile piece could be easier to come by.

Consider trade press, blogs and influencers: Don’t get me wrong. Every company and executive wants to be featured in The New York Times or Wall Street Journal, and it certainly should be a goal. But like I stated before, that can be a challenge right of the gate and sometimes can take months to happen. In the meantime, don’t shy away from speaking to trade reporters, bloggers, and other influencers. These reporters are always looking for reputable sources and could help build your public profile. Not to mention most top-tier reporters and broadcast producers usually read niche publications for inspiration. You’d be surprised how many reporters approach execs because they saw them quoted somewhere else!

Be provocative: Reporters are looking for sources to provide pithy, memorable quotes. If you are being quoted for a story, try to provide a point of view that is unique to what is already being said. Don’t be afraid to be provocative and challenge the status quo. Reporters love showing differing viewpoints or even tension in their stories. Another way to get press attention is by contributing an opinion piece that is provocative and has a strong viewpoint on a current news issue. Many daily newspapers and trade publications publish opinion pieces but the main requirement is a fresh and provocative voice.

Paul Panday, Talent & Content Publicist, Metro PR

My Communications Background

Panday is a publicist at Metro Public Relations, one of the entertainment industry’s leading PR firms representing Digital Studios and some of YouTube and the Social Media world’s biggest stars. Panday specializes in translating the news of the Internet and pop culture to traditional mainstream press. On a day-to-day basis, he liaises on behalf of digital talent to amplify viral videos; support branded product and book launches; and secure press to drive personal PR narratives with philanthropy and events.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

I work on behalf of “digital stars,” the Julia Roberts’ and Brad Pitts of Gen Z. And the biggest obstacle I encounter is the work of translating value: “Why is this relevant to my audience?” If you, too, work in the digital space, where 15 minutes of fame are fleeting, and, candidly there’s just a lot of junk out there, here is how to make your news pop:

1. Show Me The Money: Facts, figures and statistics are your friends. It’s your job as translator to make the news “click” in an industry where old-school producers and editors may not readily see the value. Offer up numbers that speak to how influential your talent is and how their story will equate to clicks on their content. For digital talent, that can be “subscriber number” or “video views;” or an accolade from a legacy news organization or established industry guild that puts the news into context and qualifies the work.

2. Fortune Favors the Bold: I work with press to tell stories that begin on the Internet. In the world of six-second video and text messaging, picking up the phone is a lost art for today’s generation of publicists. In my first job, I spent hours cold-calling reporters and learning how to pivot on the fly. Phone calls, while requiring a strong sense of resiliency, should also be direct and succinct, and are often the most productive weapon in a publicist’s tool belt. Today’s talk show bookers often source their on-camera experts from a stable of talent they can trust to speak intelligently — and it all begins with a coffee introduction.

3. Don’t Abuse The Power: As publicists, we are often gatekeepers of highly desired information and people. In Hollywood, it’s ten-fold. Plenty of people in this town have built careers by strong-arming press to reach their client’s goals, but I believe the ones that have longevity are the ones who realize it’s a two-way street. You are a reflection of your client and an extension of their brand, so it’s important to work as a collaborator to deliver for both parties. There’s a lot to the old saying, “You can win more flies with honey,” and reporters have a long memory.”

Leah Taylor, Chief Communications Officer, Cast Influence

My Communications Background

With over 17 years of experience in both B2B and B2C marketing, I excel in harnessing the power of social, digital, and traditional media to increase brand awareness, elevate market share and catapult revenues. I’m solidly credentialed in PR & social media, technically savvy, and backed by a vast network of influential contacts in media, music, blockchain, design, tech and finance. I’m a hyper networker, advising startups, VC’s and entrepreneurs on how to communicate their value proposition in an ever changing market. But most importantly, I really love what I do.

A few highlights? Bonusly’s guest appearance on Colorado Public Radio News, InVision’s inclusion in Forbes 2016 Next Billion-Dollar Startups, the creation of Bandsintown’s nationwide ambassador program and an in-studio giveaway on Ellen Degeneres 12 Days of Christmas program.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

TIP #1: HOW DOES YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE GET THEIR INFORMATION?

The answer often times is not NYT or TechCrunch. As part of onboarding at Cast Influence, we ask all new clients to identify what their target audience is reading, listening to and watching, since nowadays there are so many ways to consume media. We then dig in deeper. YouTube, podcasts, brand-specific newsletters, partner marketing — there are multiple avenues PR can pursue to identify interesting story angles that map back to client’s goals.

TIP #2: ESTABLISH KEYWORD SEARCHES

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You have a problem and you go to a search engine to look for a solution. What keywords or phrases do you look up? These keywords become part of PR targeting so anytime a journalist is discussing said topic, follow and subscribe to their coverage to stay up on what they’re reporting. We then offer ourselves or clients as a resource for future commentary, data, or customer stories outside of breaking news cycles. The goal is to be helpful to journalists on deadline vs. requesting coverage when it’s self-serving.

TIP #3: CASE STUDIES AND CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORIES

There’s a reason Amazon allows shoppers to soft by ‘Average Customer Review’. Just as consumers are averse to advertising, so too are journalists who receive thousands of pitches a day shouting ‘DISRUPT!’ Assuming you have an established product or service, offer press the chance to speak with customers who advocate for your brand. It’s much more authentic for a reporter to hear how your company is disruptive from a customer than it is your CMO.

GG Benitez, CEO, GG Benitez & Assoc. Public Relations

My Communications Background

GG Benitez, founder of GG Benitez & Associates Public Relations Inc., is one of the industry’s leading independent public relations professionals with full-service capabilities. She is renowned for her expertise in delivering buzz-building campaigns that elevate products and services into premier brands. As a seasoned strategist for media placement, branding, personality management, and celebrity/influencer programs, she has built a stellar reputation for helping clients realize their full business potential while supporting their vision and goals.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

“From our almost decade track record of securing strong media placements for our clients, we have learned what some of the most strategic ways are to earn strong good media coverage. Our Top 3 Tips Include:

Ensure you are presenting the benefits, vs just the features, of your clients’ offerings. Back in my pharmaceutical sales’ days, I had to go through extreme sales training, and the motto that was ingrained in our minds during this training was, “Features Tell, Benefits Sell.” When trying to persuade the media to share your clients’ offering, they themselves need to be sold on why these offerings are compelling enough to write about. You are actually selling an idea to the media, first. Know how to do so concisely, yet thoroughly.

What we have found is that follow up is key. Media contacts receive hundreds of pitches a day, and sometimes the timing is just off and they may not have even read your pitch. We like to send out a follow up email 7–10 days after an initial pitch, unless there is a time sensitivity to the matter. If the topic is urgent, we follow up with a call. Depending on the topic and timeliness of it (such as having sent out very early in advance, we may send a revised 3rd follow up with updated details, but this isn’t common, as we assume after 2 tries, that the contacts is not interested. After a couple of times pitching the same angle without a response, we know it’s time to find a new angle.

Try to uncover the hidden objections. There are many times that, based on the relationships we have established with key media contacts, we are able to ask why a certain pitch has been passed on. With this pertinent information, we can then go back to the client and devise a way to overcome this objection, if there is a way to do so, and reach back out to these media contacts with the revised pitch, many times, loading the placement.

Katy Hendricks, Director, Client Services, CooperKatz & Company

My Communications Background

Katy Hendricks has a decade of experience spearheading award-winning PR campaigns in the home, health, real estate, education and technology sectors for CooperKatz & Company, Inc. In addition to being a tried and true publicist, she also leads the agency’s social media and content marketing strategy team. Katy recently moved to Tampa, FL from New York City helping to expand the CooperKatz footprint.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Give reporters what they want — a good story. Too often publicists get caught up in corporate speak, which can be easy to do when we’re the conduit between our clients and the media. But announcements and messages are not enough, and journalists are turned off by the boardroom jargon that we all know too well. It’s our job to breathe life into those message and humanize them, so that the end reader or viewer feels an emotional connection.

As any good publicist knows, hitting “send” on a press release no longer does the trick. You must think about all the elements needed for a compelling story, and collaborate with your clients to offer as much as possible. We like to call this the “silver platter” approach. The very best stories have four core elements — 1) a relevant and compelling news hook, 2) expert advice or insight 3) fresh data or indication of a trend and 4) a human anecdote. Of course you may not be able to offer all four — but you should aim for at least three. That may mean investing in a piece of research, and finding the right spokesperson to connect with your audience. But the juice is worth the squeeze.

Alexandria Ott, Founder & CEO, Chrome City

My Communications Background

Born and raised in San Diego, Alexandria learned the ropes of the PR industry from her father Tony, who owned OTT PR for a majority of her life. Her love of media is evident in the breadth of roles she has held over the past decade, ranging from media strategist to author, event planner to advertising executive. In 2014, she founded Chrome City as the result of her desire to tell a deeper story on behalf of her clients.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. Understand Your Audience: Get to know the writers you are pitching. I suggest getting to know them personally by meeting with them for a meal, cocktail or coffee. Ask about their life and what they like to write about. Research their past before you meet with them and ask questions about what you’ve learned based on your research. Take notes on their partners, their travels, and the way they like to be pitched in order to remain up-to-date with their lifestyle and practices.

2. Differentiate Yourself: Not only are you trying to differentiate your client from the millions of other businesses they are getting pitched, but you also need to differentiate yourself as a publicist so that writers know they can count on you for innovative ideas, timeliness in response and coordination of exciting and reader-friendly stories. When you meet with the client to determine different pitch angles, push them to go beyond surface level items of their brand. Find out more about the design, the products, the way that the brand came to be that makes it something worth talking about.

3. Be Authentic: Be real with writers when it comes to what you want. Engage with writers regularly, even when they are not giving you what you want. Don’t pitch something to someone that you don’t know with certainty will be interested in what you are telling them. If a pitch or client isn’t right for someone, don’t pitch it to them. It isn’t worth them not taking you or your pitches seriously.

Augustin Kennady, Media Relations Director, ShipMonk

My Communications Background

Augustin Kennady is the Media Relations Director for ShipMonk. He graduated from Columbia University in 2013 and immediately sought work at the intersection of technology and commerce. This path led him to ShipMonk, one of the premier names in the eCommerce fulfillment space.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Follow Kendrick Lamar’s advice: be humble. This first tip is so important, because you have to understand that there are innumerable qualified publicistis and companies out there who have exceptional pitches. Avoid sounding like a braggart at all costs. Approaching a pitch with a sense of confident humility will set you apart from many other publicists.

You should also be visible. On several occasions, I’ve had my pitch published by a journalist who followed me on Quora. I can’t help but think that the fact that I have written so extensively in my field preconditioned the writer to regard my submission differently. Regular advocacy of your company or brand on the internet will go a long way towards establishing yourself as an expert in your field. There are so many outlets out there to stand out and be visible, so stop hiding!

Finally, be helpful. You want to ensure that whatever you say is not only in the service of your brand and company, but also in the service of the outlet. The writers to whom you are pitching have their own bosses, their own deadlines, and their own needs. The relationship between publicist and journalist must be a mutually beneficial one, so help them out!

Liz Anthony, President, Mariposa Communications

My Communications Background

Liz got her start in the corporate public relations department at Coach, where she oversaw regional press and events. In time, Liz segued into the fast-paced agency world, moving to a boutique firm specializing in fashion accessories. In early 2009, with her passion, talent and eye for irresistibly chic and stylish designs, Liz set out on her own. She founded her fashion PR firm, Mariposa Communications, to provide unparalleled services to a selection of designers, whether established or on the rise.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Be Thoughtful: Do your research and find out exactly who to reach out to at what exact time. Understanding the member of the media’s beat, outlet’s editorial calendar and overall working style is of the utmost importance. Always remember that this is a real person you’re pitching, with social media it is easy to see what interests them both personally and professionally.

Be Creative: Always keep in mind how many emails and DMs everyone receives on a daily basis — not to mention if you’re a member of the media. It’s exhausting and often uninspiring. The amount of start up businesses, blogs, apps and services launching is astounding so always think about what sets your pitch apart. Make it grab their attention while still being professional.

Be Clear: Further to the excessive amount of noise in the media are often unclear brand missions with missing information. You only have one chance to get your point across clearly — make it enticing yet informative. Make sure that all of the information is outlined and accurate. Organize all of the information and relevant brand assets for them before they even have to ask!

Susan Gold, Executive, SGC

My Communications Background

Susan Gold is an expert in branding, creating business development options and dealmaking. She’s a former producer as well as a triathlete and has fierce clarity when it comes to PR and Marketing opportunities. She partners with Onelia Estudillo who has formidable experience in the traditional PR and Social Media space.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

First and foremost, know your audience. Who are you contacting and why? What’s in this pitch for them? How are you helping them with their project demands and deadlines. Second, know your stuff! Read a few recent articles written by the person you are pitching. Get a feel for their topic matter and style. Then pitch your story in a way that aligns with their fair and offer a compliment specific to their work. Finally, be precise. Know elements your writer may be looking for and emphasize them. Be their solution when you pitch and when you earn their coverage, thank them and stay in touch.

Elliot Tomaeno, Founder & CEO, ASTRSK PR

My Communications Background

Elliot is the Founder & CEO of ASTRSK PR. Throughout his 10+ years in PR, Elliot has held leadership roles at Morris + King, Enloop, Ballou PR and Wyndstorm and has worked in cities on both sides of the pond including San Francisco, Paris, London and NYC. He has been featured on Business Insider’s ‘Top 50 PR professionals’ list in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 as well as Adweek’s 30 Under 30 in 2015.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

“While it can be tempting to hide behind your computer screen all day, it’s worth remembering there’s great value in face-to-face interaction. Don’t hesitate to arrange a coffee date with a journalist — or, better yet, invite some all to an open-bar launch party sponsored by your business. If you take this route, be sure to make a speech — or perhaps a brief toast — to talk about your brand, demo your product, and, obviously, thank them for attending.

Also, always be on the lookout for opportunities to attend (or even speak at) industry-specific conferences and meet-ups. These events are always jam-packed with entrepreneurs, journalists, and sometimes even venture capitalists who can help your company grow. Put on your power pants, and represent your brand with pride.”

Chevy Donato, Senior Account Executive, Now + Zen Public Relations

My Communications Background

Experience in fashion and accessories PR with a strength in influencer outreach. My primary focuses are delivering traditional press placements in top tier media and garnering frequent and meaningful influencer social media mentions for my clients.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

A publicist’s job is all about building meaningful relationships with press, influencers and other publicists; you are only as good as your contact book! Making sure that you consistently research media moves, send targeted pitches that are on topic with an editor’s beat, and nurture your relationships by networking are the most important things a publicist can do. Getting to know an editor or blogger over lunch or coffee goes a long way… and it’s always important to support the ones that support you; click their links, read their articles or blog posts, watch their videos, and go to their events, too! — — these simple things are always more memorable than simply sending free product samples and keep you top of mind for opportunities. Our industry is more digital than ever before and it’s essential for a publicist to adapt quickly to changes and understand that social influencers are here to stay; make sure you know the ones you are working with are legitimate and have real, engaged followings. Most importantly the products you pitch them should be something you could actually see them using organically if they weren’t being sponsored. The best way to do this is to get to know them. If you can’t meet them in person, make sure you read their blogs and frequent their social media pages often. You will earn more frequent and meaningful press by building these relationships!

Carrie Simons, CEO, Triple 7 Public Relations

My Communications Background

Carrie Simons is CEO and President of Triple 7 Public Relations, a leading boutique publicity firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville that handles corporate consulting, brand development and entertainment publicity. Celebrating over 10 years of success, Carrie and her executive team spearhead publicity campaigns for recognizable celebrities and experts, TV networks and studios, festivals and events, book launches and corporate initiatives. She credits the outstanding experience of her team members and the company’s commitment to only representing quality clients with its ongoing success. More information on Triple 7 PR and its clients can be found at http://triple7pr.com.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

“I always find the most successful press coverage is generated for those campaigns that I am truly passionate about because that passion resonates in the conversations I have with media. As a result, Triple 7 PR only signs clients that we are excited to represent. Through this internal litmus test, we know that we offer value to the stories told by media through the clients we’re pitching.

The following three strategies always have served us well:

1. Understand your clients completely before pitching them and work on your written pitches until you have them dialed in before your first press outreach. The best media opportunities come from a true understanding of who you’re pitching and what will resonate with those you’re speaking with as well as being able to pivot on the phone, or in person, to other angles of coverage that might yield a better result. If you truly know your client and appreciate their value for press coverage, you’ll find more ways to secure those key opportunities.

2. Put yourself in the position of those you’re pitching. By taking a moment to recognize the person you’re communicating with, their current focus and their timeline, you’re best equipped to strategize your efforts in a way that will resonate with them. We always try to focus our pitch efforts on the timing that would be most convenient for the media we’re pitching, not the timing that works best for our to-do lists. By having the respect for when media are on deadlines, trying to get home to their families or going on hiatus, we hope to get their attention during periods where they’re able to focus on the client pitch we’re offering to them instead of being frustrated that we don’t respect their schedule.

3. Remain optimistic and positive. If you’re not getting the result you want or hearing back, don’t let your frustration impact the tone of your follow up. Remain upbeat and tenacious. We all know that some campaigns are easier than others, and sometimes the domino effect of media doesn’t happen in the timeline you’d expect. Keep finding unique angles that you truly believe should be spotlighted and stay engaged in conversations with those writers and bookers you believe are best for telling the story. By working as a team to make the opportunity happen, regardless of how long it takes, you’ll eventually succeed and celebrate the accomplishment together.“

Matthew Aversa, Founder/CEO, Twenty One PR

My Communications Background

Matthew Aversa founded Twenty One PR in 2011, at the age of 17, creating a public relations, social media, event production and branding company for the 21st Century. His background and expertise are in talent relations, hospitality clients, charities and thought leaders at the top of their respective fields. After starting the company in New York and working with clients such as the United Service Organization (USO) The Four Points by Sheraton, Jedediah Bila (The View), Lauren Makk (The FABLife), Richard Pryor Jr., ROK Beverages and more, he expanded his company to Los Angeles. Aversa now represents clients and companies on both coasts. Now, at 24, Matthew takes pride in being a millennial who understands how millennial’s think, act, and play but more importantly how to create and maintain a brand for generations.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Stay Up To Date

Stay up to date on current events. Spend a little time each day researching the top trending stories around the world. Turn on the TV in the morning and catch some news. If you are in the celebrity space, catch an episode of TMZ or pick up one of the weeklies such as Star and In Touch. Know what is happening in the world around you so that you know what value you bring and what outlet you can bring it.

Stay up to date with colleagues. Professionals in the media world are always on the move. Stay in touch with reporters, producers, freelancers, paparazzi, etc. to be sure you know what outlets they are working for at all times. Building relationships with the media is critical, as they are who will keep you in the spotlight and you’ll know exactly who to reach out to and when.

Stay up to date with internet trends. It’s hard these days to keep track of every social media platform these days. That’s why keeping up with human behavior on specific platforms is important. Is Snapchat better than Instagram? Is Facebook better than Google Plus? Do your research and know what your target demographics are and where they spend most of their time engaging online.

Gabriel Reyes, President, Reyes Entertainment

My Communications Background

Gabriel Reyes is President and Founder of Reyes Entertainment, a pioneering entertainment communications agency with expertise in the Hispanic, Multi-Ethnic markets. He is a seasoned professional with an established track record of creating impactful communications campaigns that deliver measurable results for film studios, TV and OTT networks, celebrities and lifestyle brands, I offer strategic planning and execution in the areas of media and talent relations, digital, social media and special events production. I am a passionate and valued team player who brings added creative skills in social media, talent management, special event production and TV/film development.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. Write impeccably and tell a compelling story. Most people and also companies have a story, many of them are quite compelling and worthy of of media recognition.

2. Know who you are pitching. Research and read bylines and publications of reporters and editors you are pitching. Give them a story that fits well into their editorial vision and provides a service to their audience. This is earned media, not advertising.

3. Become a resource. Become a regular resource of information to the reporters with whom you interface. They will thank you and will call you again and again once trust and collaboration have been established.

4. OK 4. I work in the Hispanic and Multi-Ethnic media space. If you are pitching into that space, make sure you are familiar with the CULTURE as well as the publication to which you are pitching.

Vijay Lalwani, Founder & Chief Communicator, The KOKI Group

My Communications Background

A veteran of several top agencies, Vijay is a results-producing PR & Marketing Communications professional offering over 17 years of experience working with both established global brands and startups. He is experienced in both consumer b2c and corporate b2b communications across a variety of categories including tech, health & wellness, beauty, food & beverage, travel & hospitality and more.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Define A Clear Objective

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of launching a new product or brand, or even announcing a business update. Regardless of what you are building an earned media plan around, it is important to define a clear objective at the forefront. Think about what you want to achieve and what the desired end result is. Be it general awareness or some type of call-to-action, an effective story to pitch cannot be packaged without a clear objective.

Put Your Reporter Hat On

Once you define a clear objective and start to package the story, content and any other resources, keep your reporter hat on throughout the entire process. Think about what the reporters are looking for. Ask the important questions: what is the news here? does this make sense for the outlet? is this relevant for the readers/audience? how do I capture the reader’s attention? I like to come up with a few headlines that I know would be a win and make sure the story we tell has the substance to validate that headline.

Be Bold and Disruptive

The media universe is more cluttered now than ever before. We have real news and fake news, new products and technology launching every day, ‘content’ is a household word and almost every brand has at least one influencer as a partner. The only way to break through the clutter and stand out is to be bold and disruptive. Make sure you have a strong message, create an experience or tactic that is unexpected and don’t be afraid to go the extra mile to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Kim Straus, PR Manager, HelloFresh

My Communications Background

Kim holds a diverse background in consumer lifestyle and corporate communications, with 6+ years experience across CPG, fashion, automotive, real estate, food, entertainment and beverage/spirits PR. Kim offers skill in media relations strategy, event coordination and project ownership, finding success with hundreds of editorial placements in top-tier publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Men’s Journal, Seventeen, PEOPLE, and several more. Kim currently leads consumer PR at HelloFresh.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. Always do your research: know who you’re pitching, know their audience, and think if this would resonate with them. Most people blindly pitch like throwing paint on a wall to see what sticks. You have to do your research.

2. Network, network, network: Make sure you get out there and meet with editors at key magazines, freelancers who are covering for a variety of publications, etc. The key to success is getting face time, learning about that writer’s background, and figuring out how you can work together. This is beneficial to both parties — you learn what they like and they stop getting irrelevant pitches.

3. Find common interest between your brand/product and the writer: Does the writer use your product/brand? Do they have a personal interest in the category? This will help the writer see an actual use for your brand/product vs trying to figure out if it would work. For example, if you’re pitching a skin cream, find a writer who has a skincare regime. If you’re pitching a book, find a writer who reads that genre or considers themselves a secret bookworm.

Stefany Cesari, President, The Same Paige

My Communications Background

Stefany founded The Same Paige in 2011 with the goal of sharing and celebrating genuine hospitality. With more than a decade of PR experience across various industries, Stefany found her niche in the world of bars and restaurants and is perfectly happy surrounded by good food, good drinks, and good people.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. If you don’t believe in the story you’re pitching, no one else will either! Make sure you actually now what you’re talking about. If you truly believe your client’s burger is the greatest in New York City, its going to be so much easier to convince a writer to include it in their roundup of the best burgers.

2. Be deliberate with your outreach. I’ve worked at agencies that believed in the “”cast a wide net”” policy, but that’s not how I teach my team to pitch and that’s not how we’ve had success. Know the story angle you’re pitching, research the specific contact you’re pitching, and send a pitch specifically targeted to them.

3. Don’t be an insecure publicist. I used to get nervous about emailing too often or following up. It is your job to publicize your clients and it is a writer/editor’s job to find good stories/leads. If you’ve done your research and truly believe that the writer you’re pitching would be interested in the story angle, follow up until you get an answer. If that answer is no, find a new angle and get back to it! A no is an answer you can take back to your client as tangible feedback; no answer at all means you simply gave up on a story that you didn’t think was worth pursuing.

Ross Garner, Chief Operating Officer, Media Maison

My Communications Background

Ross Garner is the COO co-owner of the boutique full service PR and Marketing firm Media Maison which focuses on lifestyle consumer products. With a NO BS approach to PR, Media Maison produces top tier placements for their clients.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1 — BUILD RELATIONSHIPS — this is what your clients are buying from you. You will only ever get so far with blind pitching. You need to cultivate strong relationships with editors, producers and influencers in various markets. Our best placements come from working with people we know and trust. A major morning show producer once told me she gets at least 1000 unsolicited pitches a day — and she deletes them all. She looks to those people she knows and trusts them for the best items for segments.

2 — PEEL THE ONION IN A MILLION DIFFERENT WAYS — a client will come to you with a story or a product. Clients will often think they have the best product ever created or think they doing something revolutionary that no one has done before. It is our job as publicists to peel the onion in a million different ways and tell that story in as many ways as possible. In a market saturated with experts and products all competing for a finite number of placements — you need to know what makes your client the best in the field. Identify it and use it to your advantage. This allows for the maximum number of placements in a wide array of outlets.

3 — FOLLOW UP — this is so simple and never expect a piece of press to just magically appear. We are living in a world where media giants are buying each other, lay offs are a daily occurrence and that person who used to write one piece a month is now writing 7. That “”Top 5 Toys for Your Toddler”” or “”Best Items For Girls Night”” piece means everything to client — but your media contact has a lot going on too. Understand that and be sure to follow up — respectively of course. And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS write a thank you note. It is 2018 and we are attached to our devices but a handwritten note always goes a long way.

Jenelle Hamilton, Founder & CEO, Jenelle Hamilton PR

My Communications Background

As an founder of Jenelle Hamilton PR, Jenelle has pioneered her own path in the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle space. Hamilton’s stellar portfolio of clients includes Andre Walker, best known for his hairstyling work for Oprah Bob Mackie, a fashion designer and costumer known for dressing icons such as Diana Ross and Cher; and the dynamic duo behind Mented Cosmetics, a beauty line created for women of color.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1) Social Media — Utilize social media to get into the conversation. So many of my clients have received media coverage by being active on social media. Follow a list of editors who frequently cover your industry, read their articles and add feedback or insight to their stories.

Also, create a strong voice on your feeds and platforms. If it is authentic and you have knowledge, the media will find you!

2) LinkedIn — this platform is a great space to get noticed and position yourself as an expert. A friend of mine published a great article on social media influencers, 20/20 reached out and she scoured a segment on the show. I think this resource is under used and I personally know many editors and producers, who use it when looking for story ideas and sources.

3) Editorial Calendar — Create an an editorial calendar each year. Most outlets are going to cover seasonal topics such as; Black History Month, Easter, Mother’s Day, Earth Day etc. See where you can fit in, when it comes to being an expert for their stories of where your product offer may be useful. Make it a point to reach out with enough lead time, to potentially be included.

Karen Hansen, President, Bullseye Communications

My Communications Background

Karen is a PR, Media, and Communications professional with more than 20 years of experience working with organizations to grow their brands. Her firm represents blue chip clientele in the entertainment, media, tourism and sports industries. Her PR agency has been named as The Best Place to Work and she has also earned accolades such as one of the Top Ten Female Entrepreneurs to Watch.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

The Bullseye Communications team uses a range of successful techniques when executing PR strategies to deliver the highest-level media coverage for our clients. Knowing that the work we do can truly impact a company’s performance is a distinct motivator when creating comprehensive communications campaigns.

Early in a campaign, we leverage journalist and producer face to face time through a range of media desksides where we introduce the client, product or service while discussing editorial opportunities and relevant storylines for the coming year. We can weave our range of clients into editorial plans early on and better service our media contacts with lead time.

Additionally, we create a series of touchpoints for experiential opportunities with media. Whether it’s a screening event or launch party or stunt activation, we want to offer journalists dedicated time with the brand we are servicing. To be able to directly interact with what we are pitching creates more robust content for everyone.

Finally, we drive impactful results by not only well-thought out pitches, well-researched outlets, well-individualized approaches, but a complete sense of gratitude for the media! We understand their deadlines, beats, content needs and become a true partner in their editorial priorities. It’s all about personal relationships and we never lose sight of that.

Brooke Palmer Kuhl, President, RSBP Events + PR

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

My business evolved out of event marketing into PR. That was due to the fact that the number one lesson in PR is exactly what it is. PUBLIC RELATIONS. You relate, you pitch what is a true story, it becomes relevant.

My second strategy would be to FOLLOW UP. Lots of PR is missed due to deadlines and the “lost email”. Stay true and on top of it.

My final strategy goes back to the word “relations”. Relate to the journalists you work with. Know about them. Understand what they need and want to cover. Maintain a relationship with them behind the pitch. It might be antiquated but you do catch more flies with honey.

Paula Conway, Media strategist, Founder and President of Astonish Media Group

My Communications Background

Paula Conway is a five-time author and media strategist who started her career as a Broadway Press Agent. In addition to working as a writer for prestigious newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, and the Robb Report, she has represented wide-ranging brands from Fortune 500’s to early stage startups, as well as many celebrities. Paula has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, OK! Magazine, People and Reader’s Digest among many. Her first book, The Beauty Buyble, was an Amazon best-seller. Paula holds a B.A. from NYU and M.F.A. from Columbia University.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

First, you need a good story. A good pitch is simply well-presented storytelling, and without it no one will listen. Secondly, answer these questions: what’s at stake? Why now? Why should I care, why should anyone care? Then offer the twist: what is so uniquely different about your client, or your client’s product or message that makes this compelling?

Brianna Broad, Account Director, kglobal

My Communications Background

Brianna Broad is a strategic communicator who builds and amplifies brands, tackles challenging and reputation-damaging communications issues, and effectively markets client messages or products. Currently an Account Director at kglobal, a Washington, D.C. communications firm, Brianna trains executives for media interviews, has served as a crisis media advisor for Dole Food Company, and leads media relations and event teams for clients in the retail, technology, and food industries. She has placed hundreds of client stories and secured interviews in top news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Associated Press, NPR, and Sirius-XM.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. Spend quality time on your pitch and story idea. Remember…this email has a significant amount of weight as to whether or not a reporter will even respond to you. It must be concise and creative, and achieving those two things is no easy task. Refrain from writing a pitch and sending it right away (unless it’s time sensitive). Brainstorm with your team, tear your drafts apart (yes, drafts is plural), and put yourself in the reporter’s shoes before you hit send. Don’t be afraid to share it with a fellow colleague to see if it passes the sniff test either. If it’s not newsworthy, make it newsworthy. And if it’s a dead end, be able to recognize that and move on to another (and better) idea.

2. Following up is critical, so stop thinking you’re annoying. The media is one busy bunch. They are fighting multiple stories with tight deadlines and constant breaking news and don’t always have a chance to respond. I have received many messages from reporters apologizing for their delay and how much they appreciated me contacting them again. If you did your research and crafted a helluva good pitch, then you have nothing to worry about when contacting a reporter for a second or third time.

3. Media is like a ripple effect, but it takes time to build. You nailed your first story — great. Second story — excellent. Don’t stop there. The more you are in the media, the more you become known as an industry expert, thought leader, or go-to source for information. This is what you want, but it doesn’t happen overnight. We grew one client’s earned media coverage by about 2,000 percent — it sounds ridiculous, I know, but it took three years to build. Now, organic media mentions and unsolicited requests come in on a usual basis, and it’s icing on the cake.

Kellie Walsh, President, KWM Communications LLC

My Communications Background

Kellie Walsh started her career working in the high paced world of transaction PR. Today she serves as President of KWM Communications LLC a boutique strategic communications agency that advises predominately financial firms on profile raising, media relations programs, change management and crisis communications situations. Kellie has worked with some of the world’s largest private equity firms to leading asset and wealth management firms throughout her career and is known for her passion, unique insights, strong media relationships and drive to see her clients succeed.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1) Be strategic: I will often say that media pitching is like a game of connect the dots. It’s more than just reading what the journalist has been writing on recently and talking about on Twitter. You need to look for common themes between your pitch and their coverage area. Maybe it’s the next evolution of a story they did previously or a new twist on a topic they are writing on more frequently. It shows you did your homework and we find pays dividends over the long-term.

2) Simplify the process: There is nothing more frustrating than having to go back and forth 10x on email to confirm the availability of a potential source. Always have your facts and materials lined up and your source availability confirmed before you make contact.

3) Time your pitch: You need to walk in the journalist’s shoes. If they are a markets reporter and the Federal Reserve is meeting that day, a pitch other than what the Fed is going to say or do and how the markets may react, will fall on deaf ears. Always be conscious of morning meetings and story deadlines as well before you pitch as it varies by individual and outlet.

4) Send a thank you note: I know this is a 4th suggestion but it’s so important! We are in the relationship building business, but very few people say thank you anymore. Send a brief thank you note after the story or segment runs. They will remember you and that note.

Baruch Labunski. CEO, Rank Secure

My Communications Background

Baruch Labunski is an entrepreneur, internet marketing expert and author from Toronto, Canada. He currently serves as CEO of Rank Secure, an award-winning web-design and internet marketing firm.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

The best way to ensure you get good media coverage is to have a good story, if there is no story then most editors will be able to see through the pitch and it will be unsuccessful. With that story, you have to be able to get it to the right people and make it stand out. It’s not easy but if you’re pitching the right story in the appropriate media channels then you’ll have much better success. You have to consider the perspective of an editor.

An editor is getting a huge volume of emails every day, so it’s a challenge to get your email through, so they see it, and then opened, so they can respond to it. You might not get attention immediately, but if you continue, you will eventually cut through. There is a certain level of patience and persistence that is required to get any coverage at all. Then, when they’re ready they will ask you for more information, at this stage you need to work extremely quickly to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity. Deadlines are part of the business and if you miss them, you won’t get another chance.

Bonni Pear, Executive Vice President/Director of Lifestyle & Entertainment Brands, Motion

My Communications Background

Still referred to in Chicago media circles as “the lady who repped the circus,” Bonni Pear has spent the last three-and-a-half decades representing high-profile clients including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney On Ice, Medieval Times and Simon shopping properties in the nation’s third largest media market and across the country. A principal in Miller-Pear Public Relations for 20-plus years, Bonni merged her agency in 2014 with Motion PR, which recently acquired integrated marketing powerhouse AgencyMSI to become Motion, a multi-disciplined creative communications firm with a client roster that includes Serta, The Home Depot, Simon Property Group, Feld Entertainment, Kenmore, Die Hard, Tractor Supply and Becker Professional Services. One of Chicago’s most well-known and highly-respected PR professionals, Pear’s impressive media relations track record stems from decades-honed creativity, strategic insight, media savvy, and a database of contacts that would be the envy of most public relations pros.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Know the reporter’s work. In pitching, one size does not fit all. While I’ve admittedly broken my own rule in the face of impending deadlines, I strive to avoid contacting a reporter until I’ve read or watched at least three of his/her pieces on a related topic. I’ll often reference a recent story the reporter wrote, and tie that into my pitch. (After all, reporters have egos too.) Speaking to the medium is also key. In a print pitch, I’ll probably be stressing the credentials of the expert available for interview, while the same story pitched to a TV reporter will focus on the action-visuals available to support a quick soundbite.

Speak from an audience perspective. Too often publicists talk about why a given topic, project or announcement is important to their client. What we should be thinking about and communicating is how this news will impact the media contact’s readers, listeners or viewers. Will they learn something that will save them money, improve their health or relationships, or simply entertain them? And equally important, will the subject matter be compelling enough to make them turn (or click through) the page, or not change the channel? I challenge PR professionals to begin their pitches with the words “your readers” or “your audience,” rather than “my client,” and watch how it enhances their effectiveness.

Don’t take yourself (or your client) too seriously. As a friend of mine likes to say, “It’s PR, not ER.” And while our clients may upon occasion literally be saving lives, or impacting society in a monumental way, keeping non-earth-shattering news in perspective — even throwing in a bit of carefully placed self-depreciating humor — can go a long way. Journalists are, almost by job description, irreverent. Speaking their language, under the right circumstances, doesn’t hurt. I’ve probably generated more reporter engagement with the occasional “You had to have known this was coming” quip, than dozens of more by-the-book pitches.

Joe Culotta, Communications Manager, Hispanic Leadership Fund

My Communications Background

8 years of public and government affairs experience in several industries including advocacy groups, ecommerce, and in house advertising/pr agency.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

#1 Learn the art of pitching. Pitching is sales and just like any sales job, you need to practice your pitch and perfect it. You need to sell the journalist that publishing your story is a win/win situation. It’s a win for them because it will get them to generate clicks to their website, new subscribers and readers while keeping their audience informed and/or entertained. It’s also a win for you because you’re getting a story published that’s hitting your target audience.

#2 Build relationships. In the PR world, relationships matter. Start by introducing yourself when you start a new job. Take them out for coffee or lunch and build that relationship so that when a story hits their desk, they’ll call you first and have you or your client in mind as a source.

#3 Get personal. Both of the above rules go with getting personal when you’re pitching a story. Most PR pros use their email blast software and expect journalists to respond. That won’t always work instead, you need to pick up the phone, call the journalists and pitch them the story after you send out the blast. It’s personal and shows you care about their work.

Jason Sulham, Vice President, Broadreach Public Relations

My Communications Background

Jason leads the development of client project strategy for Broadreach Public Relations in Portland, Maine. He also leads the firm’s public affairs offerings and advises clients on crisis communications matters. Since 1999, Jason has worked extensively on high profile political campaigns and strategic communications and crisis communications efforts for a diverse list of clients that include corporations and non-profit organizations of international prominence.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. Write it Yourself: From op-eds to bylined articles, sometimes the best and most effective strategy to earn media coverage is a thought leadership plan. Thought leadership allows you to write (or produce) the story you want published yourself. It not only guarantees the work gets done, but you have control over the message.

Outlets are also happy to receive a finished product. It’s more efficient for them. The key therefore becomes the pitch. A good pitch makes the case for why the opinion or insight is qualified and should therefore be published.

2. Keep it Topical: Your earned media success will increase if you can find tie-ins to topical subjects, especially when trying to land coverage in daily outlets that are hyper-focused on what’s going on from one day to the next. Take stock of what is trending in the news or leading newscasts and determine how your product, service, or insight connects to those stories. Does it offer a solution? Reframe the story? Provide additional context? Keep the story alive? Provide a local hook? The connection may not always be obvious, but a good PR professional can think about the entire story globally to determine if a connection exists. Conversely, maybe there isn’t a connection and that’s what is newsworthy.

3. Focus on your headline/subject line: Your headline and/or subject line needs to answer the “who cares” or “why care” question. So many pitches or press releases go out with headlines in various iterations of “X Company Announces Y”. Unless your company is announcing the cure to cancer, that sort of headline is not going tell the reporter who cares or why someone should care. Brands announce things every day, so your headline needs to indicate why this announcement or news is of special significance to an audience — particularly the outlet’s audience.

David Gerzof Richard, President and Founder, BIGfish Communications

My Communications Background

David Gerzof Richard is President and Founder of BIGfish Communications, a boutique PR firm in Boston. In addition to running BIGfish, he is a partner at GreatPoint Ventures, a professor of marketing at Emerson College, a lecturer at Harvard University and a curator for Summit Series. He holds a master’s degree from Emerson College and a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1) Tailor each and every pitch to media. Blasting an announcement out to hundreds of reporters is not, and never will be, an effective means of pitching. A personalized approach yields far better results. Just because someone’s beat is “tech” doesn’t mean they’re going to care about every single pitch that has some semblance of a tech angle. Do your research to understand the intricacies of a reporter’s beat and craft your pitch to address their interests. They will quickly be able to tell if you’ve done your homework or not.

2) Aim for a balance of quality and quantity. Sure, we all want a lot of press, but we also want the press hits to be meaningful. Are they on message? Does it reach the target audience? What’s the sentiment? It’s worthwhile to look at Google Analytics and see which press hits are referring the most traffic, so future outreach and media coverage can be geared towards targeting outlets that drive results.

3) Planning is key. Resist jumping into a project too soon. It’s vital that you completely understand your client’s business, goals, needs and wants. While clients may expect an immediate ROI, don’t overlook the importance of advanced planning and preparation. Knowing the end destination can help your PR team craft the right messages for media and result in better media coverage.

Heidi Krupp-Lisiten, Founder & CEO, Krupp Kommunications (K2)

My Communications Background

Heidi Krupp-Lisiten launched her namesake, award-winning agency over 20 years ago and since has defined and shaped the “Elevated Living” marketplace. K2 works with some of the world’s best-known thought-leaders and consumer brands across health and wellness, self-improvement and general lifestyle marketing. K2’s proven approach starts with understanding cultural trends and truths which inform the creation of a brand narrative that connects with target audiences and inspires them to pursue happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

“Despite living in a digital world, we can’t dismiss the power of physical connections. Just as in our personal lives, relationships and trust are built over time. By taking the extra step and getting to know a media contact, you will be able to tailor your story pitch to what appeals to them, delivering a better ‘hit’ rate. Since I was producer in the past, I’ve come to learn that it’s important to treat the media as a client, we want to package and serve them relevant stories and deliver what they need, when they need it.

A client’s story should be positioned around a cultural trend or social moment, and/or based on a relevant need that you’re able to identify. Once constructed try and align the story with a writer/media outlet who is passionate about that topic. It’s important to see the world through their lens and serve up a narrative that goes beyond just your client’s messaging.

Interact with press online. Share their articles and tag them in ones you find interesting. Also, let them know when your client shares their story or segment. It’s important to show appreciation and, like all of us, the media gets satisfaction when their work resonates with audiences.

PR is about influence. We influence our media contacts, and those individuals influence their audiences, who themselves influence what media covers in the future. A powerful and effective PR professional knows how to be an ambassador for that news cycle.”

Allie Danziger, President & Founder, Integrate Agency

My Communications Background

At the age of 24, Allie started Integrate, one of Houston’s first public relations agencies to ​specialize in social media​. In the past ​nine years​,​ and under Allie’s leadership, Integrate grew from a one-woman​-​show to a team of more than forty to become ​one of Houston’s top,​ ​award-winning, full-service agencies. Through her work in the industry, Allie has been named a Houston Business Journal “40 Under 40” in 2011; was an honoree in Houston Business Journal’s first-ever “Women Who Mean Business” awards; awarded a “Savvy Sister” award by Houston Women’s Magazine; was dubbed one of “Houston’s ‘It’ Girls of the Year” and one of 40 “Women [Who] Basically Run Houston” by Houston Chronicle; is a member of the prestigious Entrepreneurs Organization; and donates her time to Dress for Success as the president-elect of the young professionals organization, Women of Wardrobe.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

Tip 1: Make their job easy.

Make sure you equip the reporter with everything they might need to write a good story. Don’t let there be any room for questions! What’s key here is not just piling them with textual information — who would want to sift through all that? Make it seamless and interesting by utilizing multimedia in your pitch: videos, infographics, slideshow of photos, etc. By using visual forms of media to relay information, you make it easier for the reporter to absorb and understand the details, while providing them with media they can actually use in their piece. The less work they have to do, the more likely they are to do the story!

Tip 2: Be a stalker.

It’s PR 101 that you need to personalize your pitch by commenting on a recent story or saying something like, “I know you write about x for x publication.” However, if you want real results, spend the time researching your reporter and don’t be afraid to get personal. Find their personal Instagram or Facebook pages and do some “stalking” to find out their interests, sense of humor, etc. The more you know, the more likely you are to hit it off! If you know they LOVE hamburgers, offer to chat about your pitch idea over lunch (on you) at the newest burger joint.

Tip 3: The proof is in the pudding.

If you’re pitching your client for a thought leadership piece or a contributed article, provide the reporter with links back to blog posts where your client goes much more in depth on the topic. Letting the reporter see past examples gives them more insight into your idea/topic while also giving proof and reassuring them that your client knows their stuff and can be a credible resource to them.

This is also a quick and easy way to jump on a trending news story. Rather than spending the time telling the journalist why they should interview your client, show them they are knowledgeable on the subject by providing links to past thought leadership.

Jacqueline Agudelo, Director, North 6th Agency

My Communications Background

Jacqueline Agudelo is an Account Director at N6A. She oversees one of the more diverse group at the agency with clients spanning the food and beverage, hospitality, customer service, media/ad tech, HR, and benefits industries, among others. Prior to N6A, Jacqueline honed her skills at an award-winning boutique PR agency where she handled guerrilla marketing, promotions, and communications for well-known consumer, media, and entertainment brands.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1. Understand the media landscape: From reading their recent articles to checking out what they have to say on social media, it is important to keep a pulse on what your target reporters are writing / passionate about. Journalists have taken the painstaking effort to be the masters of their craft, and as such, it’s crucial to take the time to be thorough when researching and understanding their beats.

2. Be of service, not a burden: We all want coverage “yesterday,” but the nature of building strong media relationships requires finesse and time. The more you ask of your media contacts, the less they are inclined to work with you on a regular basis. Research your targets carefully and make sure your story angles are of service to their editorial needs and not another burden.

3. Have creative messaging: Reporters are inundated with emails on a daily basis and the last thing they want to see is a rushed, regurgitation of website copy. After you’ve done your media research, tailor your messaging in a creative way. Whether that means looking at seasonal trends or coming up with a spin off angle to a story that feels overdone, provide a fresh perspective on your clients’ messaging to the media. Reporters frequently need to pitch their angles to their editor, so providing them with something unique, that can get the attention of their editor and ultimately their readers, is key.

Jane Tabachnick, Publicist, Jane Tabachnick & Co

My Communications Background

Jane Tabachnick is a publicist and book publisher who helps entrepreneurs and experts get featured in major media. Named one of the Top 100 People Online by FastCompany, she is the founder of Simply Good Press which helps experts reach wider audiences via book authorship.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

The top 3 strategies to earn media coverage are:

Be curious -By continually reading, researching and being open to innovative ideas, publications and people you’ll have a wealth of ideas and avenues to draw ideas from, as well as pitch your stories to.

Build Relationships- Be a great resource for Journalists — make it easy for them to do their job, and they’ll seek you out as a resource time and again. Share their articles, and make sure to credit them, not just the publication they write for.

Do your homework — know what the media wants, who their audience is and what matters to them, then create great stories that land on the intersection of those three things.

Andrew Valdes, Account Supervisor, Metro Public Relations

My Communications Background

Andrew Valdes is an Account Supervisor at Metro Public Relations — a full service public relations and creative marketing agency based out of Los Angeles. Andrew oversees the development, management and execution of publicity campaigns for Metro PR’s roster of top studios, production companies and digital platforms. Prior to Metro, Andrew managed media relations campaigns for numerous multi-platform entertainment brands including DC Entertainment, Hulu, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and more. Andrew is a graduate of Occidental College with a B.A. in Film & Media Studies.

Here Are My Top Strategies To Earn Media Coverage

1) Research: Take time to carefully research and curate your press targets. Go beyond the keyword Cision pulls and familiarize yourself with the outlets you’re pitching. Today, most major media outlets carry a bevy of multimedia options ranging from digital video content, social media activations, podcasts, guest contributor/op-ed features, etc.

2) Engage Your Audience: Move beyond cookie-cutter, one size fits all pitches and make it personal so your recipient knows they’re not on the receiving end of another massive mail merge. Journalists can spot a bland/generic mass email pitch from a mile away. While it is important to keep pitches concise and get to the point, flipping the focus from yourself to the person you’re reaching out to is a good way to keep your audience engaged. Simple techniques like acknowledging a journalist’s coverage beat, establishing a common interest, or highlighting their previous work are just a few ways to grab their attention and avoid the trash folder.

3) Be Flexible: Try not to back yourself into a corner with your pitches. Unless you’re pitching a specific feature story or recurring column, it’s okay to get creative with your ask and include a couple avenues for your client to work within their editorial scope.