Help a journalist out and turn yourself into a PR star
Journalists are busy people, but how effective could it be for you if you help a journalist out?
Tight deadlines, limited resources and heavy workloads have long been the culture of this much sought after and glamorous profession, but much of the public and business community find journalists, well unapproachable.
This happens for various reasons, usually based on stereotypes, such as – they are just too busy to approach, they’re aloof or they’re just plain rude but often it’s just not the case, and it’s just what it seems – a stereotype.
Often journalists are very approachable and friendly. There’s just a few things you need to know, so don’t let nerves put you off in your quest to be-friend journalists working in your business sector. After all, a good article placing you as an expert in your field will do more for your reputation than any amount of advertising.
Remember, a journalist giving you a platform is a third party recommendation saying that you’re an expert at what you do. How much better is it to help a journalist out as an expert, than it is to pay for an advertisement with you banging on about how great you are – it lacks a little bit of credibility don’t you think?
Also, people buy newspapers, magazines and subscribe to news sites for the news, not the adverts! We bet you can reel of lots of news stories you’ve seen today, but how many adverts can you remember? Not many, we’d guess.
So, how do you help a journalist out and get great PR for your business?
Well, let us just say, we speak from experience as most of us were once journalists who went on to work in PR, so we know what we’re talking about!
Firstly, really take the time to understand what journalists want and be sure you have a story. Follow them on Twitter to see what they are writing about and check out the news channels and publications they write for, so you can pitch them with a relevant angle.
Also, a note about angles! Saying you’re the best dentist in Manchester is not a story. It’s an advert. However, saying how too many primary school children are having tooth extractions and the government needs to take action to tackle the sugar epidemic might be of interest.
Have your credentials ready in the form of a biography, a high resolution picture and tell the journalist you are happy to help whenever they have a dentist story. You might find you will go into that journalist’s contact book and end up being the ‘go to’ dentist for their stories.
Also, email, tweet or even pick up the phone if you have a contact number. They’ll soon let you how they like to be contacted. Don’t be afraid though, if the journalist seems a bit grouchy it’s probably not you, it’s more likely deadlines and possibly that you’ve just caught them at the wrong time.
Always remember this – journalists are human too and at the end of the day they need your help and are constantly on the lookout for news. If you can give them a rich source of good copy, as it’s known in the industry, you not only help a journalist out, but you also help yourself out with potentially bucket loads of publicity for your business.
So don’t delay. Work on journalists today. It may be the best marketing move you’ve ever made. And, if you’re still not sure, and need a hand, check out PressPlugs daily media opportunities and take the hard work out of it! You will soon find if you help a journalist out it is rocket fuel for your reputation.