Friday, March 30, 2007

How to get coverage in Newspapers

Getting coverage in Newspapers can seem really daunting. When I joined my present company, Applied Language, I had no experience of speaking to journalist or PR. Now we get lots of coverage in our local titles.

How did we do this?

It's pretty easy really but you'll need to do a bit of leg work. The fist thing to do is identify the journalists and get to know what they write about. Buy the papers and read the sections and articles which are based around where you want to be.

Once you know the journalists you need to speak to you'll need to get all information together.

Journalists are very busy and you need to sell your company or organisation. The best way to sell anything is to make it as easy as possible for your customers (reporters) to buy you. To do this you'll need to assemble a press pack. This is less daunting than it sounds, here's a quick check list:
  • Brief history about your company/organisation
  • Biographies of the most important staff
  • Current Press Releases
  • Any pictures you have

It's best to put all these on a CD and have hard copies, at least of the articles.

Once you have all this, the next step is to call the journalists and introduce yourself. Give them a brief over view of why you're interesting. Once you have their interest arrange to go and see them at a convenient place and time for them, remember make their job easy.

Once you've met and got your enthusiasm over you'll have an advantage over all the other people who will just email press releases with no prior connection. When yours turn up the journalist will recognise them and you're far more likely to feature in the paper.

The last rule is to be polite, never be too pushy but be persistent. And always remember to thank the journalist after the article has been printed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Solve your customers problems, not tell them what you've been doing

I just received an email news letter, I'm sure you get load of these as well.

I had a quick scan down the copy as it's about a product I use a lot and I'm having issues with. So the timing of the email was great for me.

But once I started to read the copy I realised that the news letter wasn't written for me it was written for the MD of the company. The first 4 paragraphs told me about what the company had been doing.

To summarise the copy was all about "We".

We've been busy, we've done this, we've don that - you know the score.

I'm sure this company are really proud of what they've achieved and so they should be.

But in the end I selfish. I want to know what they can do for me? How can they solve my problems? Why should I spend my cash with them?

If they had started these paragraphs with You or Your, the readership and final actions, which is what counts, would be greatly improved.

The lesson? Always put the customer first, they don't care about you. They are selfish like you and me, give them what they want.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Buy before you Die

On Radio 5 Live this morning, they interviewed a guy who makes made to measure coffins. He'll make whatever you want, from an egg to an aeroplane.

This kind of thing only appeals to a small niche, which is great.

The thing I liked best was when the guy said;
"These are mainly for the 'Buy Before You Die' customer".

I don't know whether he did that on purpose but, he should definitely use it as a tag line. It'll offend loads of people I'm sure but his target market of people wanting designer coffins will love it.