Greg Simpson, founder of Press for Attention PR and Enterprise Nation Champion for Nottingham, offers his advice on how to make the media fall in love with you.
Roses are red, violets are blue
If you want press coverage
I’ll give you a clue
There’s one simple way,
To get what you need
You’ll need to start planning
Then react with great speed
To really stand out and get their attention
There’s so many ways
Too many too mention
But one thing is certain
As I’ve been deducing
It takes two to tango
Now let’s get seducing
In this column, I am going to show you how to make the media fall in love with you. There’s no need for incantations and you will be pleased to see that neither eye of newt nor toe of frog are on your shopping list.
However, we are going to weave something of a spell here as we aim to at least get you a date with your target media. By the end of it, you might even be holding hands.
I wanted to write this as all too often when people chat to me at business events, typically the standard networking soiree with a bacon roll and a coffee, they seem keen to find ‘sneaky ways’ to get the press to cover them. Almost like they are trying to get away with being covered by them before they are rumbled.
A bit like online dating but using a VERY old photo or perhaps not even one of yourself or perhaps exaggerating some of your ‘achievements’ in the hope that they will pique interest.
The problem is, this strategy will only work in the short-term before you are rumbled, if indeed it works at all.
Are we in a relationship?
I want you to be more mature about what you want from each other in any potential media relationship.
I want you to think about what you BOTH bring to the party. It shouldn’t just be about you getting media coverage, it should be about them getting a great story so they can sell more copies or clicks.
It is a win/win for both of you.
I want you to start looking for a relationship where you are perfect for one another.
I suppose that is what I have been for the last decade and a half. My job is to find the right media outlets and contacts that will boost my clients’ businesses whilst ensuring that the media is getting the best possible outcome too.
I have the advantage here in that I come from a more objective position. Firstly, I used to be a business journalist, so I ‘get’ their pressures but what I also have is a more neutral position between the two parties where I am seeking the win/win.
The problem is, although it is perfectly possible to DIY when it comes to PR, too many people are focused on What’s In It For Me? To be really good at the PR game, you need to think about What’s In It For Us?
You need to find the right media partner, the perfect fit for your business, not your ego. You need to find common ground where you and the journalist are greater than the sum of your parts. You need to add some Valentine’s Value.
If you work with this approach, you will soon start to find that you are doing less of the chasing and the media suitors are actually flocking to you for a date.
Valentine’s Day was originally a celebration of the coming of spring. If you start to work with my approach you will soon find your PR and marketing campaign is blooming marvellous.
Or you could just send them flowers, it’s a start.