Winning Publicity Formula
Winning Publicity Formula
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One that’s effective and won’t piss off your media list
So, you’ve decided you’re ready to make an announcement to media. You’re opening a new venue, launching a product or announcing a partnership.
Perhaps you’ve been told the way to do this is by writing a media release, and then sending it as a BCC to a large list of journalists.
This is a very good way to piss off a long list of influential people. Please do not do this, ever. It’s damning to your brand, and to the reputation of the PR industry. Here are six steps on what you should do instead.
Carve out your priority media
My mantra is to do less, more effectively.
I know that I can’t email 100 journalists in a day and even if I did, the outcomes I want will come from only 20 on that list. Instead, I identify who are my top priority journalists with the below criteria:
You need to find journalists interested in your industry or type of product, who have covered similar stories or scoops before. If I’m launching a new hospitality venue, I’m not going to email a fashion correspondent…
Talking to the wrong audience is futile. Download the outlet’s media kit for audience demographics – where do their readers/listeners/viewers live, what are they interested in, what do they do for fun. Are they an audience interested in your product, and are they likely to visit your website?
Conduct a search for your products’ key terms on Google news. Note which news outlets organically appear on the first few pages of results?
For example, my key words for CommsClass are ‘PR Consultant Melbourne’. When I type this into Google News, the outlets that rank first include The Australian, AdNews, Marketing Magazine Australia and Digital Journal. If I was going to pitch a story, I know that these outlets need to be made a priority.
Domain authority (DA)
DA is a score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. When you earn an online editorial from a higher-ranking DA which drives traffic – through a link – to your own website, this earns you credibility with Google(!).
Here is where you can Download the Moz Tool bar to monitor your own domain authority, as well as those for other media sites. When putting together your media list, only include outlets that have a domain authority higher than your own website.
After checking off these four criteria you should have a highly relevant and effective – but short – media list.
Service remaining media, with an RSS or subscribe function
If you’ve built media lists in the past, you will find that many of them don’t make this new priority list.
Of course, these relationships are still important and you need to service them with updates if they are genuinely interested and/or expecting it.
I recommend setting up a blog page on your site where you can house media updates, with a subscribe function. Use RSS, or send the update through a reputable mailing system like MailChimp which automates unsubscribe links.
Ask these media if they’re happy to be subscribed. Don’t worry – if they’re genuinely interested and you have a relationship, they won’t mind. In fact, they’ll appreciate you’re asking their permission and will be less likely to delete the emails.
Personalise your media angle
Back to your priority list, your crème de la crème.
You now have a short but effective list you can spend more time on. You need to brainstorm a personal idea for each that will gauge their interest, with the end goal of generating coverage.
In some cases, the announcement you think is newsworthy will need another hook. Sorry.
This is called a ‘media angle’. Here are some examples, but depending on your announcement there are 100 ways to skin the cat, so to speak.
The fundamental is to read, watch or listen to their segments/columns and consider how you could place your news in a way that fits with their content.
Print publications or highly visually blogs will often run stories if there is a great photo to accompany it. The more colourful and grabbing the better. Email the editor with a colourful and descriptive idea for them to shoot, or if they run supplied imagery, provide your own.
Trend or round up stories
Show that your product is part of a wider trend. You’ll need proof – so other examples of the trend. And potentially a high-profile spokesperson to comment. Better yet is if you can supply qualified research/statistics that prove your idea. Just make sure you’re using a reputable source – journalists won’t publish unattributed opinions.
Applicable to F&B and hospitality, recipes are a great way of earning publicity. Be sure to downsize the quantities, add an introduction, and check the copy is error free. Also, having quality photography will make (or break) your chances of getting the recipe published.
Know your timings
Different styles of publications work to different deadlines so it’s essential you check, before you pitch.
For example, you wouldn’t email Gourmet Traveller Magazine about an event happening in three weeks’ time, as their lead times are a minimum of 3 – 6 months. Here’s a rough guide:
- Online: can publish immediately – but best practice would be pitching at least two weeks prior
- Newspaper: Weekly supplements (six-eight weeks) / EGN or daily pages (two-four weeks)
- Magazine: three – twelve months, depending on frequency …
What is Everything Else?
Everything Else is a product category on Amazon that is meant to be a catch-all for items that don’t fit into any other categories. Over time, as the Amazon catalog has grown and more specific product categories have been added, Everything Else has become less useful and more of a junkyard for cast off and forgotten listings.
Until recently, however.
Why are items listed in Everything Else when they shouldn’t be?
The answer to this is fairly simple. Some sellers are using Everything Else as an opportunity to get around Amazon’s gated category requirements. For example, DVDs with an MSRP of over $25 are now Selling certain products and bran… More and require permission to list. So we’ve seen some sellers create new listings in Everything Else to get around these requirements. We’ve noticed similar “workarounds” for other gated or Selling certain product categorie… More categories as well.
Amazon doesn’t like this. It just makes the catalog more of a mess than it already is and ends up creating a worse customer experience.
Winning Publicity Formula
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