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. Think about your own inbox for a moment, then imagine that of a journalist working with fewer resources and on a tighter deadline….
Engaging the media within this extreme 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!