While securing coverage of your brand is just one weapon in your communication specialist’s arsenal, it can have an impact like no other. Customers love to hear your story from others. Having trouble getting that media love you so richly deserve? Here are a few reasons why:
1. You're all about yourself.
If you only want to talk about yourself, go run an ad campaign. Being too promotional, not tying into a trend or not being willing to say, “These are my competitors” are all surefire ways to not get media attention.
2. You're relying on press releases.
Yes, write a press release; it’s a valuable exercise to get the team on the same page as to what the heck the story is. However, don’t rely on a press release to get coverage. Releases these days are SEO tools and something to post on your website. They are not resources for the media. Your PR team’s relationships (current and the ability to build new ones), the personal approach to media and telling your story are the resources you should rely on.
3. Your story is old.
You may be the best in your business, but that business isn’t all that exciting to the media right now. Or, you think that three “launches” of the same product somehow fools people into covering your product multiple times. If you haven’t had something new in awhile, look around and brainstorm with your PR team. I guarantee you there is a position you could take, a thought you could share or a milestone you’ve met that would be of interest to a media segment that covers your space.
4. You don't have all the pieces in place.
Launching a product? Reporters need pricing, availability, customers and analysts who will testify that there’s a need for your product in the marketplace. Shooting for a profile on your company? Any good journalist will want access, interviews with executives and employees and, perhaps, an on-site visit for photographs and a tour. If you’re not willing to give these things — or better yet, have them available when your PR team pitches the story — then you’re not ready for really good media coverage.
5. You're not speaking their language.
If you can’t explain how your product or company serves its customers in plain English, reporters will be deaf to your story. This holds true for press releases, interviews and yes, your website. You know who doesn’t write “the leading XX provider” in their copy? The leaders.
6. You have no social presence.
There are many reasons why brands should have a strong social presence, and this is just one more reason to add to that list. Reporters are tasked with not only reporting the news, but they now have to promote it via online: video, social channels, smoke signals, etc. The fact that your brand has the legs — or doesn’t — to get its story more eyeballs goes into their decision-making process on what brands to cover.
7. Your brand needs a new look.
It counts; it really does. Media want to talk about companies doing cool stuff, and a big part of them believing you’re doing cool stuff is walking the walk. How innovative can you be if your website hasn’t been overhauled since 2006? Yeah, yeah, the cobbler’s shoes and all that: You wouldn’t go to a customer meeting without thinking about the impression you’ll make. You should think along the same lines about your website, your social channels and your brand’s public persona.
8. Finally, your media strategy.
Are you playing fair, or do you give preference to one outlet over another, pit one reporter against another or burn bridges when parceling out your news? Sure, you might get that one hit that one time, but overall, there’s too much at stake here to play dirty. Figure out your story, and work with the media openly and fairly to get it out to its readers.
You don’t see yourself in any of these points, yet you’re still not getting the love? Do some introspection, and sound off in the comments on what I missed.