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A common frustration I hear from business executives is that they feel like their company is the best kept secret in their industry. Nothing is worse than seeing your rival in the headlines. Everyone reads the headlines, but few are ever featured in them.

The art and science of media relations has certainly evolved over the past two decades since I’ve been practicing. However, there are some golden rules that still apply today regardless of the medium.

If you follow these three rules to secure better media coverage, you’ll be closer to becoming the thought leader in the limelight.

Rule #1

Is your announcement really news?

There are some key ingredients that make a story newsworthy. Can you place a checkmark beside each of the questions below?

Is it timely?

  • Relevant to your industry?
  • Will it disrupt the status quo?
  • Does it contain a human element?
  • Is it local?

Rule #2

Find the appropriate vehicle to communicate your story. Everyone knows about the news release. Notice I didn’t call it a press release. I call it a news release because it must contain news.

Besides the news release, you may want to consider:

  • Pitch letters
  • Opinion Pieces
  • Letter to the Editors
  • Reaching out using social media tools etc.

You can also respond to journalists inquiries via social media or services such as HARO – Help A Reporter Out. Just remember, the news release is not your only option.

Rule #3

Target the right reporters. Journalists love spam just as much as you and I, so before you approach a journalist, make sure that your story fits into their beat. This way, your news and what they’re looking for will match.

Bonus Tip

Just for reading to the end of this post here’s a bonus tip! Take advantage of the characteristics of each medium to enhance yours news value. If you’re targeting television, what sorts of visual aids can you use to ensure you’re not just a talking head?

  • Images?
  • Charts?
  • B-roll?

Think like a producer or editor to help bring your story to life. If you do, you’ll get positive results every time. I can count several instances where the story wasn’t hard news, but because we had a captivating photo, we ended up on the front cover.

If you follow these simple rules, you’ll be one step closer to making those headlines and securing great media coverage.

There are certainly more rules to consider when securing positive media coverage, so please do share your strategies and tactics in the comments below.