Top 10 publicity hacks to get your business in the media

There’s nothing I love more than sharing a little nugget of knowledge around publicity. To help you gain exposure in the media for your business, here are my favourite 10 tips…

1. Get in the media your ideal client consumes

The big names are great to have in your ‘as seen in’ image. There’s no denying it. It boost credibility and gives you, what I like to call, ‘cool points’. BUT it’s also a good idea to be featured in media outlets you know will get you right in front of your ideal clients.

2. Find the decision maker

Type in the job title and media outlet into Twitter or LinkedIn to find your exact contact name. This is the person who you need to pitch your idea to so you know it gets seen by the right eyes. Try writing ‘Editor’ or ‘Fashion Editor’ and then the magazine name. Boom.

3. Befriend Hunter

This is a great tip for anyone looking to find the email address of a specific person. Add a URL into the website and it will bring up every single email address they have. It can even guess someone’s email as it knows the format they use. For instance,

4. Pitch a story idea not a topic

A general topic is much too vague for the media to decide if they want you or not. If you want to write an article for a magazine, pitch an actual article title. Sharing your work history doesn’t help the magazine know where to put you or know what you could write about.

5. Check the media pack

Be strategic with your time and spend time pitching yourself to media outlets with an audience. Magazines and other media often have a ‘media pack’, ‘media kit’ or the like, featured on their website. This is created for advertisers to see who and how big their reach is so will give you a great idea if they are the right place to feature your company in.

6. Say no to advertorials

Advertorials are paid-for media. They are often something smaller businesses or those new to PR get collared into because they don’t realise how else to appear in the media. If you know your ideal client is absolutely going to see you and you will leverage the opportunity to the max then it may be worth it. Chances are there are other ways to gain exposure.

7. Find your PR sweet spot

Once you have defined what media your ideal client is consuming, now think about which PR activities you want to try and where the sweet spot between them lies. If you are a great writer and know your dream client reads certain magazines, then you know it is worth focusing on that as a strategy.

8. Be media-ready

Once you start putting yourself out there people will Google you or land on your social media profiles or website. Make sure everything is up-to-date, page 1 of Google reflects your current business, and that you are ready to be found.

9. Have an opinion

If you agree with all your industry says or do everything perfectly it doesn’t make a great story. If you have an opinion, voice it. Just keep your published opinions on brand and in line with your business values. People love to see a negative turned into something amazing so if you overcame a failure that’s something your audience can (and will) resonate with.

10. Have a plan (however simple!)

Having a communications plan helps keep you and your team on track with your marketing, channels you are engaging on and the messaging you share. You’ll be able to plan for publicity and content for your business events, awareness days etc. I cannot recommend having a comms plan enough, however simple it may look.

If you would like to see your business in the media, I now host Brand Reputation and Communications Workshops at your office.

10 tips for pitching your business to the media

Have you ever seen an ‘expert’ make a comment on a news story and wonder how on earth they were invited to do that? Is it because they’re the best in their field? Of course not. It’s because they put themselves out there and usually all it takes is one email or phone call.

The feeling of “that should have been me” is something I hear all too often when I’m welcoming new clients aboard. This is why I cover media pitching in my Brand Reputation and PR Workshops.

There is a knack to pitching and you can absolutely learn how to write a killer email pitch that not only gets opened by an influential editor but also gets a “hell YES!”

Here are my top 10 tips for pitching your business to the media for monstrous exposure…

1) Introduce your idea

The first paragraph is crucial to get right. We need to get your idea and why you are the right person to deliver it across in 1-2 sentences.

Unless you are famous or known to the journalist, you won’t need to share your name immediately. Start by introducing your idea (we’ll talk about this in a moment) and, for example, your job title. If I was to pitch myself I would open my pitch like this…

I wondered if you would be interested in an article on ‘how to create and maintain your brand reputation’ by an an award winning Media Strategist.

2) Dude, TMI

This in an initial pitch email to introduce you and your idea so at this stage. There is absolutely no need to divulge too much personal information or your entire resume.

Unless it is relevant to your pitch, try to refrain from sharing your whole life story. If you are pitching a real life story of which you have experienced then of course it is relevant.

Your first paragraph is about introductions to you and your reason for contacting them. If you want to reveal more information about you, that is relevant to your pitch, then your next paragraph is the perfect place.

I open with “To give you a little background…” and take it from there. This means the recipient can decide if they would like to read more about the story or not.

3) Share a story idea not a topic

Nailing your idea is key to the success of your pitch.

There is a big difference between a story and a topic. An actual idea would be the title of the article you want to write. Sharing that you want to write on a topic is too broad and doesn’t give the reader enough to go on.

For example, which one of these would you be more inclined to accept if you ran a magazine?

  • Topic: Business growth
  • Story idea: How to use LinkedIn to gain inbound leads and never cold call again

The latter right? Business growth is such a broad topic with thousands of elements. A topic such as this would not give an editor enough to go on as they won’t know your Zone of Genius is within using LinkedIn for business.

4) Make decision making easy

You need your pitch to give the recipient everything they need to make their decision. Everything. If needs be make a checklist or create a pitch template to work from ensuring you include all the key elements needed.

5) Be clear what you want them to do next

This may sound obvious but it’s amazing how many people slip up on this one. Most pitches that editors and journalists receive are just emails introducing a business or a product. This doesn’t tell the recipient what they want them to do with their email.

Do you want their product in a gift round-up feature? Were you wanting to be interviewed for the weekly ‘spotlight’ feature? Or were they intending to write a how-to article for them?

Close your email by showing the journalist what you want them to do next and why you are contacting them. Make it as easy as possible for them to make a decision, don’t make work for them.

When I pitch an article idea I will close my pitch with “I would love to write the article [magazine name]” so they know exactly why I am contacting them.

6) Do your research

Whatever ideas you have, make sure you have researched your media outlets first. There is no point pitching a how-to article idea to magazines that never publish those articles.

Start by figuring out what media titles your ideal client is reading, watching and listening to. Then do some research and see where you could fit into those.

7) No spammy attachments

You may think it’s relevant to send a bunch of images with your email pitch for an editor to make a decision on whether to publish you. Chances are that email will go into the SPAM file and never be seen.

If images or additional information are relevant to your pitch then add a link instead.

8) Killer email subject

Any good email needs a great subject line. It’s all very well creating a beautiful pitch but unless the subject line rocks, your pitch will not be read. I like to add the story or idea into the subject and what I’m pitching for.

Article idea: 10 brand reputation hacks”

This allows busy editors to come back to my email when they are ready to look at their pitches for that day. Plus it gives the idea so they will decide there and then if they are keen to read more about it.

9) Proofread it

We’ve all been there. An email gets sent with the wrong name or you forgot to change something after you copied and pasted it from the last one.

Remember to proofread your pitch before you hit send.

10) Find the decision maker

Sending your pitch to the person making the decisions, rather than the generic email address the interns check, means your pitch will be seen by the right eyes.

You can have the name of an editor or journalist within seconds using the social media platforms LinkedIn or Twitter. Search for their job title and media name, for instance, ‘Fashion Editor Cosmopolitan’.

Now you have a contact name, your idea and a killer email… start pitching!

Want your pitch to land media coverage?

Interview: Editor reveals how to feature in magazines

I was reading recently in The Guardian newspaper that pitching your story ideas to the media is super tough. There are general rules that people need to follow and having run a PR company, I know only too well the challenges pitching brings.

The editor of Business News Daily receives tens of email pitches into her inbox every single day. She admits 95% are rejected or ignored. I’m positive she is not alone. The website Medium says there is a massive difference between pitching a ‘story’ and pitching a ‘topic’. They also suggest businesses looking for exposure should understand which one needs to be used in the pitching scenario.

I’ve spent years writing and tweaking email and telephone pitches for both clients and myself. From getting the idea right to finding the right person, it can be tricky to get that ‘Yes!’ from journalists.

My guest today, Emma Burford, is an online magazine editor and has some fascinating insight into becoming pitch perfect. This is a video taken from the recording of my Business Innovators Radio Network show.


Want to get editors to say 'Yes!' from your email pitch?

Get media eyes on your business and discover the art of pitching to editors and journalists.
60 minute media coaching call. £99.

The real ROI of PR

PR is the ultimate WOM but can you have a tangible outcome or ROI from it?

I say YES and here’s why…

Most marketers and businesses devote their entire budget to advertising. With advertising, leads and conversions are metrics you can evaluate thus you can see a return on your investment when it comes to advertising. Website views, click-through-rates and sales made are all figures you take to your boss, share with stakeholders and your team in your review meetings.

Metrics from a single advert or advertising campaign are tangible. You can see the ROI and tweak your next campaign according to how well the ads converted.

When we consider using PR the ROI is less tangible.

I get asked often by people enquiring into my services that are new to PR, what return on monetary investment they will see. Whilst I always guarantee clients will get media coverage or campaign success, I, and anyone else in PR, cannot give an exact figure as to the financial success a client will see.

One of the best measurements of success I saw was a client waking up to an email inbox full of sales, a growing Paypal account and a queue outside their retail outlet. All after just one radio interview and one magazine article had been published. The company had a loyal and super online following that we had been nurturing a while through incredible content so as soon as they started appearing in the media their boosted credibility turned followers into customers instantly.

Now in my opinion, THAT is value and return on investment.

While it’s tricky to show an exact monetary value of what PR will do for your business, it’s safe to say that if you nail your message, get it in the correct channels and in front of the right people PR will grow your business.

Do you want your business to be famous?

In-house and virtual PR Workshop spots now open.
Email me below for availability or to book your date.

Media Coverage Masterclass

Media Coverage Masterclass with Kerri L Watt

Get media coverage, on the radar of journalists and find your newsworthy story

In this masterclass you will discover how to;

  • get your business media-ready
  • write an email pitch to the media and land free exposure for your business
  • find your newsworthy story
  • ways to get into the media without buying any ad space
  • get media coverage within days

All this plus bonus resources for just £29.

How to build a high-end brand using PR

I truly believe in the power of PR and how it can make you and your business into something beyond anything you ever dreamed. PR has been proved to be 90% more effective than advertising and it’s the easiest way for a business of any size to get right in front of their ideal clients.

PR goes hand in hand with your branding. Each piece of media coverage should be on brand and have an objective. Your objective for getting exposure could be getting in front of potential customers, past customers, investors, new recruits, stakeholders… anyone involved in your business.

When you have, or want to create, a high-end brand, PR is paramount to that process. 

I was recently invited to speak in the High-End Brand Builders Facebook group, hosted by branding expert Sarah Shuttle, and I’m excited to share this exclusive interview with you.

When you have, or want to create, a high-end brand, PR is paramount to that process. Click To Tweet

In this call you will discover…
  • Ideas to land your product or service media coverage
  • How to get right in front of people sat waiting to buy from you
  • Ways to figure out what media your audience is consuming
  • Why you don’t need to pay to advertise your business to get more clients
  • How to negotiate a magazine feature when you buy an advert

Want to create PR opportunities for your brand?