How to achieve top tier coverage that cuts through the noise
Achieving tier one media coverage is often the pinnacle of a business’ marketing strategy.
National newspapers and top tier trade publications offer an invaluable platform for companies to showcase their expertise, amplify their messaging, and increase awareness of their product offering.
Securing this coverage, however, can prove difficult, especially if you don’t already have existing journalist connections.
Knowing how to achieve tier one coverage that sets you apart from the competition and gets your voice, perspective and expertise out there is gold. And this is how we do it…
1. Maximise journalist appeal
Journalists want three key things:
- Topicality and relevance: It’s important that the content of your pitch not only offers something relevant to the journalist, their publication and its audience, but is also connected to recent trends in both your industry and the wider news agenda.
- Unique perspectives: Journalists don’t want information that’s already out there, nor do they want the same point of view. Having a unique perspective is more likely to engage a journalist and persuade them to take you up on your pitch.
- Supporting facts: Journalists need proof your claims stand true. Providing evidence that your opinion is based in fact is the best way to build trust in your viewpoint.
2. Be pitch perfect
Pitches almost always start with an email and with top tier journalists receiving hundreds of pitches every day it needs to cut through their inbox and grab their attention.
Make sure it succinctly presents strong, original ideas or is a contextually relevant perspective on a topical or breaking news story with a punchy subject line.
If a journalist shows positive interest in your pitch, follow up with an email containing further details and offer to arrange a phone call to discuss the proposition in more depth.
Face-to-face briefings are particularly good for building rapport with journalists but they
may not have time to meet you in person, so be prepared to follow up over a quick phone call or another email if necessary. Understanding each journalist’s preferred channel of communication and making it as simple as possible for them to get what they need is crucial for building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.
3. Think thought Leadership
Thought leadership is content that uses the expertise, insight or opinion of the spokesperson. When done right, it can have a hugely positive impact on the way your brand is perceived. In fact, 65% of respondents to the B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study said that a piece of thought leadership content significantly changes their perception of a company for the better. Compared to traditional marketing materials, 64% of respondents stated that thought leadership is a more trustworthy basis for assessing the competency and capabilities of a business.
Delivering thought leadership coverage in top tier media can take various formats. For example, newsjacking – where a spokesperson comments with data, insight or opinion on breaking news – places your business alongside stories that are important to your audiences. A bylined article, however, enables leaders to share their thinking and knowledge around important and emerging industry topics in more depth.
The types of angles publications are looking for varies. Mainstream outlets, like the BBC or The Times, focus on stories that affect consumers, while the Financial Times or Forbes want business affairs and finance angles.
Regardless of the tactic, top tier media requires thought leadership with a unique perspective and that is accessible to a wide audience.
4. Research research research
Every publication is different, making thorough research on what journalists cover an essential first step in securing tier one media coverage.
Most journalists are time-poor and work to tight deadlines, so pitches need to be relevant to avoid wasting both your time and theirs. A great way to find out about journalist preferences and the topics they are focused on is by looking at their previous articles and social media profiles where many reporters share requests or post about topics they are interested in. Using this knowledge to ensure you only send them pitches on topics that they cover or are interested in will help get their attention and build trust and rapport.
It’s equally important to have knowledge of the publication’s editorial guidelines which are often available via its website. Adhering to these when pitching is key as proposing content that does not fit will elicit a negative response that can scupper your chance of coverage.
5. Know your competitors
Understanding where your competitors are getting coverage and what they are talking about can help you to identify opportunities for your business to cut through with new insights or opinions. By analysing your competitors’ media mentions you can create fresh opinions on current topics others in your industry are focused on or the inside-scoop on an industry issue you address with your clients but don’t see discussed in the media.
Achieving top tier media coverage is no mean feat, so making sure you are equipped with the right strategies and knowledge about the process is key. For more information about how to land coverage in your dream top tier media and how we could do that for you at GingerMay, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org