How to get a Journalist to Write about your Company or Product
The technology industry is an incredibly exciting area to work in with its breaking news often dominating the headlines. But while the public’s appetite for tech is at an all-time high, the competition to get quality has never been more challenging, with journalists literally receiving thousands of emails every day on the “next big thing”.
Here’s our top 5 tips on how to get your tech brand featured ahead of your competition:
Match the news agenda
To encourage a journalist to write about you, ask yourself if there is anything in the news that your business can credibly comment on?
Making sure your voice is the one that’s heard requires quick reflexes, snappy key messages and quite often, a strong opinion. Remember not to try and shoehorn your company name into the news with no real purpose – ask what you can add to the story.
A great example is conference call provider Powwownow who are passionate about delivering tech to empower people to work remotely. Ahead of the recent rail and tube strikes, we worked with MD Jason Downes to draft a letter to the Guardian editor to urge employers to seize the opportunity ‘to fully embrace smarter ways of working’ by allowing their staff to work from home and miss the strikes all together.
Instead of reacting to the news agenda, how about creating it? One huge advantage of working in tech is that your company will almost certainly have access to some sort of data. Behavioural patterns and trends are often of interest to the press as the can confirm or disprove theories.
For dating app Happn, we used their data identify the ‘hottest universities’ across the UK by looking at the postcodes associated with UK university campuses where the most matches were made. This idea worked really well, with outlets like Evening Standard and The Sun running the story.
Is it actually newsworthy?
Before you approach any journalist ask yourself a simple question: ‘If I didn’t work for my company would I bother reading this story myself?’
It may be interesting to you and your employees but for the press to write about it, it needs to be of interest to a whole sector or demographic, or in the case of a national newspaper, the majority of the country.
More often than not, hiring a new member of staff is not particularly newsworthy unless it’s a senior hire with leading industry experience. Nor is moving offices or investing in new equipment – these are things that all businesses do. As a general rule if you’re providing something varied, helpful, opinionated or entertaining, it has the potential to be newsworthy.
Case studies are a great way to humanise your brand – they give tangible examples that readers can identify with, and people buy people. Media like them too as they provide a third party validation for your company and offer a more balanced article.
If you have satisfied customers (particularly if they have a great story to tell) then ask if you can work with them when talking to the media. Most probably won’t mind – after all who doesn’t like reading a positive news article about themselves?
The Moochies GPS watch enables parents to track their children using an app. As well as telling media all about the product, we gave them three mums who had tried and tested it. The result was a more interesting, and fuller feature which ran on the Mail Online.
Make it as easy as possible for the journalist
When planning an article most journalists don’t already have all the information they are looking for – what they do have is looming deadlines and column inches to fill. You can increase your chances of coverage by helping them get what they need, when they need it.
For starters, make sure you’re approaching a journalist that writes about your area of expertise. This is vital – if you continuously approach a journalist with irrelevant stories they won’t read your emails anymore. Journalisted.com lets you search journalists by name and bring up all their recent articles.
Where possible always provide images as they help the media illustrate their articles. If you don’t have them, usually stock images will be used, or a different company with good visuals may get covered instead. For online publications a video is a useful asset to have – according to KPCB, video content represents 74% of all online traffic now.
At PHA Media, we work with hundreds of business, everything from technology to sport to fashion, and everything in between. We speak to the media on a minute-by-minute basis and in our talk, we will detail everything you need to know to create impactful press coverage and will be offering one company the opportunity for a free PR strategy session.
To find out more sign up to our one-hour presentation at the UPRISE Festival in Dublin on 26th October at 11.45am. If you have a question you want us to answer, tweet us on @PHA_Technology with #AskPHA and we’ll cover it in the session.