PR consultants have seen it all. They are no stranger to adaptation when navigating the media and have years of experience under their belt.
Following our blog, Want to see your business in the media? we asked two of our fantastic freelancers for their personal top tips, expert advice and mistakes to avoid when achieving media coverage for clients.
Howard Bowden, Senior PR consultant and Media Trainer
Is there a common mistake consultants make when trying to get coverage for a client?
PRs often get so wrapped up planning complicated client stories, surveys or stunts that they miss what’s right in front of them - a simple story, based around natural news, is often the far better route to get journalists to write about your client. And it's very possible these days to create stories that will get covered by the nationals via simple desk research, and seeing what's worked before.
What are your go-to tips for achieving media coverage as a freelancer?
The story isn’t always in the brief - so never be afraid to challenge the client, by going back and explaining why something might not work, and suggesting a different route to media coverage. As a freelancer, you’re a one-man, or one-woman, band and sometimes this can be a challenge without a team behind you, but always remember that you are the consultant.
Technology has always driven the media, from the invention of the printing press to the arrival of the internet and social media - right now, the news landscape is developing on a scale never known before, and it's vital for PRs to be keep up with what stories are getting covered and how.
Katy Pollard, Founder of Listening Pig PR
What mistakes do you find most common in the media coverage process?
I find the ‘batch and blast’ approach ineffective when it comes to securing media coverage for clients. Writing a generic press release and sending it en masse to numerous publications can work but is not the best way to work with journalists. Tailoring and individually pitching stories to the interests of specific journalists, editors and publications results in a much higher success rate for me.
What are your go-to tips from a freelance perspective?
Be flexible to journalists’ needs. Think about it from their point of view. I hear so many stories about PRs who have a specific agenda of how they and their client want to be covered and how they’ve been grumpy with journalists for not covering their ‘amazing’ rebranding press release. It’s not about you. It’s not even about your client. It’s about what editors want to see and what readers want to read. It’s about making the lives of time-poor journalists easier. For more on this, you can read my little pig blog article ‘is media coverage right for you’.
Do you have a particular success story you could share with us?
A small business client came to me with an idea for a press release and wanted national coverage. We worked together to find a way to achieve it for them by tailoring and pitching individual feature articles. It resulted in four high-profile pieces of national media coverage including Cosmopolitan and Independent and as you can imagine, the reach of these pieces was huge. I love helping small businesses and entrepreneurs gain high-profile coverage. Whilst I’ve nothing against them – there are far too many white, middle-class corporate directors in suits in the media so it makes me happy to champion quirky people and stories in this way!
Looking for expert media coverage for your business? Register here today and we’ll connect you to our community of fully vetted, PR pros just like Howard and Katy.
If you would like to have a chat with the team for more information feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0207 632 8809.