Question: What is the best course of action to engage the media?
My Answer: Engaging or pitching the media is both an art and a science – and a huge challenge. Journalists, just like you and me, are operating in an environment of deadlines, omni communication / content platforms and extreme information overload. Engaging the media within this environment requires preparation, focus and persistence.
The fact that you exist, launched your startup or won an award is not a story. A few questions to ask before reaching out engage the media:
What is your goal? If it is entirely self-serving, then good luck! If however your approach is on helping the journalist then you’ll have a better shot at getting their attention. Supply background information. Share unique insights. Make connections to knowledgeable people.
Are you thinking like a journalist? Does your ask pass the “tell me something I don’t already know” or “tell me something I do know in a new way” test? Unless you have a fresh take, a reporter is not interested in simply telling another story on the same topic they wrote about last week.
Did stop to think that you’re pitching a person? You may have a honed in a publication you want to get a story in but remember you’re reaching out to a living, breathing human being and focus in on the people who are most likely to be interested in your expertise / story line.