Most people run into roadblocks with press coverage because of a few simple things. Here's tips to help with your press relations...
Contacting only one or two news outlets with your story. If those outlets aren't interested, you won't get any coverage. Contact as many news outlets as is appropriate for the type and importance of the story you're pitching. Use the FLMS Advertising Philosophy.
Telling a reluctant reporter or editor your story is getting coverage elsewhere in an effort to entice them. News outlets don't make decisions based on what other outlets are reporting. They have their own priorities. Better to offer other story ideas, or ask what other angles they might be interested in and pursue those.
Not following up on a press release. Following up on a press release is fine, as long as you don't make a pest of yourself. Wait a day or two, then follow up with polite e-mails or calls. Avoid calling broadcast news outlets during the times of day when they're on the air or about to be. Call between 9:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Saying too much during an interview. Consider yourself on the record from the moment you say hello to a reporter until after you've said good-bye. Everything you say is fair game, including off-the-cuff comments. Saying too much can dilute your main message, trigger questions that put you into crisis control mode and increases the chance of inaccuracies in the final story. Stay focused on the topic and give short, complete answers..
Sending out the same press release again and again. If it didn't get picked up the first time, even after you followed up, don't send it again. The news outlet isn't interested and you'll devalue yourself in its eyes, making it harder for you to get coverage the next time, when you have something they might otherwise be interested in.
Holding a long, drawn-out press conference. Reporters cover several stories every day. Respect their time. Keep your press conference short and to the point. Use printed hand-outs to cover the finer details and background information. Keep that information to a minimum, as well. Bullet-point it and use short paragraphs.
Calling a press conference for a minor matter. A press conference never increases the importance of a story in the media's mind. The church bake sale is still less important than the Governor's resignation, even if the Governor only sends out a press release and the church is holding a press conference. Press conferences should only be called for truly important matters.
Not returning a reporter's call quickly. News people work on quick turn around times. They also typically work on several stories at once. Call back as quickly as you can and definitely on the same day. Otherwise, you run the risk of an inaccurate story, your side not being told, or a lost opportunity to be quoted as an expert.
Trying to advertise in a press release or news interview. Avoid this. A legitimate business expansion that means more hiring or the introduction of a new product can be news. Keep your press release and interview answers informative and explanatory... Stay away from statements that sound like sales pitches.
Sending out a press release and not being available to take press calls afterward. Amazingly, people do this. They send out a release, then immediately take the next day off or even go on vacation. To a reporter, this is like putting screen doors on a submarine. Be available in the few days after you send a release out. A call for an interview or clarification means a bigger, more prominent story with less chance of mistakes. Be available.
If you're still running into roadblocks with your attempts to get press coverage, Contact Us and we'll help you find solutions to the situation.