1. Insert Yourself into the Story of the Day Stay Relevant!
The most important thing is to be relevant. You need to be the content creator and create engaging and compelling content. Find a way to be on the media's radar. Ask yourself is: Is your story relevant to the news of the day?
Know who you are pitching the story to and why it matters to them. How do you insert THEM into the story of the day? What is the media talking about, and how can you craft your story to meet the needs of the media and the audience they represent?
Remember timing is everything. Make sure to pitch on the right day. Unless your pitch was relevant, your story will be overshadowed by natural disasters or major national and international events. On a day where anything important happens, do the best that you can to avoid pitching to anyone from the press for if you have a story that's not timely, breaking news will always trump you.
When you do get the interview, do your best to give the media the marketable soundbites they want to hear. The audience has a short attention span and the media knows that. What is achievable? They don't care as much about your product as you do. Focus on your milestone and create relevance. Don't forget to be a little bit unique too! Don't be afraid to get a little bit unusual, like creating a music video for example.
2. Follow the Bread Trail! Starting Small can lead to Big Anchors
Start gaining traction and evangelists in areas where you know where there is the most interest. Make sure you satisfy your niche and they will then begin to spread the word, attracting the attention of broader audiences which will lead to bigger representation in the media.
If you feel a lack of comfort at dealing with the media, smaller publications are a great place to get your feet wet. Gain experience with smaller publications. Larger publications always look at the smaller ones to see which stories are getting traction. Constant repeated exposure through smaller press outlets can be leveraged. You want people to see that you have been everywhere. In a way, the press is kind of like a group of investors. No one really wants to be the first one in, but they want to be close there when it gets big.
Once you get that one big hit, keep promoting! Put the major news outlet's logo on your website and on your marketing packets. This will build third party credibility and attract even more press and more customers to your product or service.
3. Customize the Pitch, Be the Expert!
Take the time and customize your media pitch. Create a pitch that is specific to the reporter or the editor. What do they care about? Do your homework and figure out who the right person is to tell your story. Find them on Twitter and learn who they are. Find out what they are looking at, be a peacock and flaunt your value without directly addressing them. Make them seek you out. Don't pitch a story about apps to someone who writes about finance.
It's important to note that the the media is not your friend; they are an ally. You both have an agenda and anything you say can be perceived as being on the record. Everything you say, they have the right to the story and you don't have a right to review what they write before it gets published. Get your numbers right. If you can't remember your numbers, don't guess, don't estimate, just don't say them at all. If you don't want them to write about something then don't say it. Make sure what you say is succinct, correct, and that your message is easily translated to appeal to a broad audience. Keep your pitch simple and be honest.
At the end of the day, remember that you are the expert. The Press wants to know that you are the best in your field and that they are talking to the best. Sell yourself and your personality. Pitch yourself as the expert in your industry! PR and Press want you to be their go-to person for any new development in the industry you occupy. Don't over embellish any traits. You are your brand and only you can mess up your brand.