Social Entrepreneurs: 5 Tips to Secure Media Coverage
- I come prepared.
Don’t freak but you need a Media Kit. It’s not nearly as complicated as it’s made out to be. You’ll need at least one press release, which acts as an introduction to your company. Bios of key people in your organization, a fact sheet and/or line sheet depending on the type of company and copies of any press you’ve garnered thus far (blogs included). In addition you’ll need high and low resolution images, print ready logos, samples (if applicable) and any other pertinent information organized and print ready.
Now here’s the kicker, don’t do anything with it! Unless you have the budget to print and ship everything in a beautiful mailer to every editor out there, don’t. Instead keep it all neatly organized on your computer because once you’ve pitched an editor they will ask for this information and without it a great opportunity can pass you by.
- Make it less about the press release and more about the pitch.
A well thought-out and researched pitch is THE power tool for any publicist. Although you can write a general pitch and send it off to every publication you’d like to see you or your company in, I don’t recommend it. I prefer to take my time, research the editor I’d like to target and write a pitch specifically designed for their taste. Yes this takes time, as do most things that yield real results. A pitch should be one to two paragraphs at most and should include pictures (if applicable). In it you need to cover the 5W’s and make a compelling argument as to why this (what your pitching) would make a great story. Think of it as your elevator pitch, but don’t forget to have fun with it. Jokes, witty repartee and kindness are always a good look.
- Brevity is your best friend.
Need I say more?
- If you don’t know what your story looks like, neither will they.
I’m a dreamer, are you? Great, then start to imagine what that feature article in The New York Times will look and sound like. The more you do this, the better you’ll become at conveying a story through a paragraph long pitch.
- The cheat sheet.
For most social entrepreneurs, shelling out $2,500+ a year for a public relations database doesn’t fit the budget. Here are the super cheap and just as effective alternatives:
Mastheads.com – An online database of mastheads for most major publications that include email formats, phone numbers and addresses. Around $4-24.00 for monthly to yearly access.
HelpAReporter.com – Daily emails from reporters looking for sources and stories. It’s free but membership will be revoked if you don’t follow the reporter’s instructions.
WhoRepresents.com – If you’re trying to get celebrity fans of your product or cause, you’ll need to get in touch with their publicist or managers. You can get their contact information here for $12-20.00 a month. As always be respectful, don’t call up Brad Pitts publicist just because you think he should be involved with your project. Reach out with a letter and/or gift and then follow up with their assistant.
IMDB.com – Along with knowing upcoming holidays and current news, it’s helpful to pay attention to feature films. There is no denying the impact of Hollywood in our culture. Knowing what movies and shows are coming out along with which stars are in them will help you identify stories long before they become front-page news and there’s no cost for this information.
If all else fails you can always ask me (candance@ourCLOTHshop.com) and I’ll do my best to lead you in the right direction.