3 Things To Do BEFORE Contacting The Press

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before contacting the press

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You’ve finally built up the courage to get yourself featured in the media and you're almost ready to pitch your story to the press.

You’ve got a story and you’ve read the 5 Simple Strategies You Can Do Right NOW To Get Press Coverage For Your Business.

Fantastic!

You’re almost good to go…

But, before reaching out to the press, let’s get your media-ready.

When a journalist is interested in your story, they’ll move quickly!

They’ll also expect you to have certain things in place.

Time is of the essence, so here’s my checklist of 3 things you need before contacting the press.

1st – Create a strong press-friendly bio

Why is it important? A story isn’t a story without knowing a bit about the person behind it.

You want to be considered an authority in your space.

With your bio, you’re going to make sure you own that space.

What should it include?

Well, maybe I should say what it shouldn’t include…

It’s not your resumé… not even close!

Try not to be too corporate or stiff.

Highlight your achievements and accomplishments and show off some personality.

Keep it short and sharp. A paragraph is generally enough with a maximum of 3-5 lines.

This gives a bit of insight into who you are, what your business is, who you help, and something quirky to stand out to the press.

Your bio is an opportunity to share something real about you and make a connection with the journalist and their audience.

If you’re being interviewed on a podcast, the host will use this bio to introduce you.

If you need some inspiration, think about who you admire and who you follow.

Visit their website and check out their bios.

Here are a couple of examples from two people you may recognize – Jill and Josh Stanton, the creators of Screw the Nine to Five…

And, here’s Josh’s bio…

2nd – Invest In High-Quality Images

Photos can make or break a story!

Gone are the days when newspapers would send out their own photographer to take photos for a story.

If you don’t have decent images, you could lose out on some great press coverage.

The media rely on you to provide high-quality images for your story.

If a journalist receives two stories and one of them has better quality photos, they’ll choose the one with the photos every. single. time.

I’ve worked with clients who had great stories, but the images weren’t so good (or non-existent).

Guess what? They missed out! The journalist chose to go with a different story.

So, what do you need?

These days most online publications will use landscape photos.

But printed publications still use portrait, so you’ll need a mix.

It’s good to have some photos of you ‘in action’… either on your own or with clients.

At a minimum, you need what they call a ‘head and shoulders’ pic.

If you’re guest blogging or being interviewed on a podcast, this photo will be featured alongside articles that are written by you or about you.

Save your images in a Dropbox folder and share the link with journalists when you contact them.

3rd – Have A Website or Social Media Page Ready

Getting featured in the press is a fantastic achievement.

You want to maximize that opportunity when it happens.

If you’re starting out with blogging or podcasting, then these guys will always include a link to your website or social media.

This is where the magic happens.

Links from those sites will SUPERCHARGE your SEO and drive traffic to you.

Yesss!

So, make sure you have a website or social media presence to maximize it!

For the more advanced among us, share a link to your lead magnet or freebie.

The whole idea behind getting that SWEET media coverage is to promote your business, build your audience and attract new clients.

So work it baby!

And a bonus tip… You need RESILIENCE!

One last thing… PR is very powerful!

But I’m not going to lie.

Getting in the press takes a bit of time and effort.

You’ll get more No’s than Yeses.

I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’ve racked up quite a few No’s.

Don’t take it personally!

And when you get a YES from the press… DAMN it feels good!

*fist pump*

All that hard work, resilience and perseverance is going to be worth it!

OK, you’re now ready to make it happen!

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