A Juliastri Syafruddin
March 12, 2023

How To Convey Key Message That Attracts Journalists’ Attention

Journalists are brands' best opportunity to promote their products in a trustworthy way. However, in this information-saturated world, getting a journalist's attention is not as easy as firing off a pitch and hoping it’ll land on the first page. It’s something more than having the right story and the best-calculated PR strategy. It is rather making sure that the key message that you want to relay holds truth, relevance and value.

7 Minutes Read..

Overview: Building a brand means building a reputation. A combination of amazing products, user-friendly website and great customer service need to be rounded up with playing the part of becoming the source of information that provides knowledge about your products’ features and company values. This way, your customers or prospects can make a better-informed buying decision and thus, voluntarily build a genuine, long-lasting relationship with your brand. You can achieve the goal of creating the so-called brand loyalty by deploying marketing PR tactics that suit your brand at best. However, we are not here to discuss which marketing PR tactics that will guarantee your story to land on the front page. We bet you know that already. Besides, there have been many articles that are written to cover the given topic. So, we are here to discuss something more substantial and practical. Something that you can try out as soon as you finish reading and that is; the key ingredients that make your story worth-reading, worth-remembering and therefore, move journalists to pick up your story.

Unsplash - Markus Winkler

1. Make Your Story Real

First and foremost, you need to create a real story, not something made up to simply attract attention like a clickbait. We are sure that some of you have had the experience where you fell in love with a product you saw online, did your research, bought the product, waited anxiously for the parcel to arrive, but only to find that the product you bought doesn’t mirror the virtue described on the product's website or other marketing channels that you have visited? Well, that’s the moment when a brand loses its potential revenue from a returning customer, which according to a research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company is valued higher as it brings more profit in a long term than a new customer. The same case applies to journalists ! We can write a bombastic headline and an amazing rhetoric to attract their attention but then, put them off when they find out that all the amazing lines are not verifiable. Journalists write not only for a living but also for reputation. So, if you wish some relevant journalists to cover your story, you need to ensure that the story is well-equipped with data, figures or records of important milestones that will wows others as these types of information doesn’t not only add credibility to their writings but also proves that your company is real and worth-discussing. If you are a new brand that is still lacking whooping achievements, try not to over-market your brand or sugarcoat your value proposition (In other words, be honest about your story). Instead, utilise the power of experiential marketing by inviting them to try out your signature product to better understand the value of your brand. In essence, if the ads about your product say “A”, then the product has to be a plain “A”. We should never try to position a rock as a piece of diamond.

Unsplash - Laura Chouette

2. Ensure that Your Story is Relatable to the Target Readers

As we move to the second point of this article, we all need to be aware of the statistics that forty-four percent of journalists get pitched a minimum of twenty times per day. That said, you need to be strategic when reaching out to some relevant journalists. Firstly, ensure that the ones you want to be in contact with write publications that are relevant with your brand, be it your product, mission statement or values. Secondly, and this is the most crucial part of this section, acknowledge who the journalists’ readers are. Ask this very question before you make your pitch: Are their readers in the same niche as my target customers? If you are not sure, do your homework, conduct research about the media your targeted journalists work for because each media outlet has its own type of target audience. There are also many tools (free of charge for basic services) that you can find online to research the track-record of the journalists that you want to partner with. Then, go for an extra mile to read through their articles and comments, if available. From there, craft your story in the way that it reflects the same point of their discussion. Why is this important, especially for well-known journalists? The reason is that the well-known journalists already have their own fan base/loyal readers and knowing that your pitch contains information that their readers want to read, would attract their attention. One thing to remember though, do your best to make your pitch sharp and snappy! Journalists are bombarded with pitches or news on a daily basis, and given the tight deadlines they have amidst the fast-moving pace of news production, they need both your story and your help to cut them some slacks in selecting relevant information. 

Unsplash - Sharon Mccutcheon

3. Learn Whether Your Story Brings Values to Their Readers 

There is a reason why the media is called the fourth estate in the realm of politics - that’s because the media is considered as both the watchdog and the gate-keeper who monitors all state affairs while deciding which events should be brought up to the public’s attention. This is the very reason why journalists focus more on covering real events that directly affect the life of our society over a story that comes with business interest. That said, trying to win their attention and wishing them to write about your brand would require more than just a media kit. In fact, it requires content that both the journalists and their readers can benefit from or glean a new knowledge from. It can be your original perspective on the social problems that our world is facing and its relevance to your brand’s very existence, tips or tricks on health/lifestyle benefits from using your products, if relevant or an independently-written report of your brand’s research and innovation. If your WHY is strong and it can be backed up with reliable data, the size of your company doesn’t matter. 

In conclusion, trying to get journalists' attention is an art of being true about your brand and being helpful to your media partners. After all, the best pitch that makes journalists want to write about you under their names must contain a story that emotionally moves us and validates our reasonings with reliable facts. Agreed?


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