Journalists Don't Like to be Sold To . . .
But They Do Like to Buy.
Does the title of this post sound a bit familiar? Journalists, like prospects for your products and services, should be viewed as someone you are trying to convert to your ideas. A prospective journalist should be targeted, educated and given the opportunity to raise their hand and ask you for more information – let them buy your ideas, but never try to sell them.
There is no question that a well written, well timed feature on your business in the appropriate publication (including blogs) can do wonders for your business, but they don’t happen just because you want them to. I am mildly amused at the PR folks that blindly send me press releases and then follow up to inquire why I have not posted about the company they are selling.
Your marketing efforts will benefit greatly when you discover that you will get much greater PR coverage if you focus on helping journalists know, like and trust you.
Think about it for a minute. How much success would you have if you sent a one page letter to a hot prospect, who’s never heard of you, promoting a $5,000 service and then called up the prospect to ask why they hadn’t purchased yet.
Here are my tips for working with journalists, many of whom are real people:
1) Target journalists – Stick to the handful that have a readership that fits your ideal clients and focus on this small group
2) Build relationships – Start small by becoming a resource. Send information, statistics tidbits and comments on their previous work (stalkers should ignore this tip)
3) Be consistent – I know you want the story today, but prove that you are in it for the long haul
4) Educate – Send information, add information after a story breaks, write letters to the editor
5) Be creative – It’s an attention getting game sometimes, so when you pitch that big story (after you’ve built a relationship)