Whether you own your own business or you are a publicity professional, grabbing thousands of dollars worth of coveted free media coverage comes down to one key ingredient – CREATIVITY!
You may not have a huge marketing budget like some other companies, attractions, or destinations, but don’t let that excuse stop you.
How to Pitch the Media with a VISUAL Story…Even for Radio!
As a journalist for more than 20 years as a reporter and talk show host on both TV and radio, we can immediately tell if someone has taken the time to serve up an awesome idea on a colorful platter.
Not to compare us to cavemen, but paint us a pretty picture on a wall and we will be able to see your vision.
5 Great Tips for More Earned Media
So here are some tips:
- Make your emails visual. Don’t just attach pictures on the bottom of your email; insert the jpegs right into the copy so journalists can INSTANTLY see your awesomeness.
- Time is money. Don’t write paragraphs and paragraphs of information no one will ever finish reading.
- Bullet-point your message. Like I’m doing now. It’s easier to read.
- Send or drop off a pack of goodies (everyone loves food!) to the station staff with your logo and a note to draw attention to your pitch to help cut through the clutter of emails.
- Think – how can I make it all VISUAL from the pitch to the final interview.
Creative Press Kit Ideas
Check out the press kits I’ve received that instantly grab attention.
Like the paint can from the Home and Garden Show packed with a flower seed packet with my picture on it. Or the announcement of Potawatomi Hotel and Casino’s 25th anniversary, which came with a View-Master full of cool old pictures looking back at all the changes to the area over the last 25 years.
And the best example is the “Get Your Elf Down” here press kit for the Holiday Lights Celebration by Milwaukee Downtown. I love this pitch because the creators used mainstream media to further their cause and post on social media.
Local media people usually have a bigger following on social media, so engaging them engages more customers.
The Holiday Lights kit requested we put on the elf hat and take a “Selfie with our Elfie”. They asked us to use the hashtag #Elfie and #MKEHolidayLights to share the picture on social media to let people know about Milwaukee’s Holiday Lights Festival.
The journalist went for the pitch to be part of the community party too. Judging from the pictures and the Milwaukee Downtown’s Annual Report, this campaign was a huge success!
Milwaukee’s Downtown Report
• Kick-Off Extravaganza – Organized the city’s largest holiday lights switch-flipping ceremony in Pere Marquette Park with 2,200 guests. Families were treated to live music, dancing, ice carving, a visit from Santa, a 10-minute fireworks show and free Jingle Bus rides, of which 464 passengers took advantage.
• Social Media – Utilizing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the festival was able to reach 941,735 social media users and generate 2,184,714 impressions.
Improve Your Interview Performance
But you can’t stop there. Oh no! NO MORE BORING SIT DOWN INTERVIEWS…even for radio! Stations are constantly telling their listeners to check out their websites or Facebook pages, so you need to provide interesting content to grab their attention.
Newspapers have limited staff photographers and need your amazing pictures or video for their print and online papers.
Have a renaissance faire coming up? Wear costumes!
If you offer great kayaking and outdoor experiences, bring in the tents and kayaks.
If the experience you offer is too big to bring indoors, then shoot a cool video and give it to the TV or radio station to play during the segment or on their social media.
You get the picture.
Next time, from start to finish, ask yourself, “Are we being creative enough to grab more media coverage?”
Remember to throw a visual party for media and they will invite thousands of their closest friends.
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