No News Is Not Good News in PR: Tips for Consistent Media Coverage

Thinkstock The single most important job of a PR professional is getting your clients nice placements in the media. But what do you do when a client doesn’t have groundbreaking product announcements or exciting customer wins? A smart PR agency knows that you don’t just passively wait around for hard news to fall in your lap – you take an inventive approach to media relations. In B2B technology PR this is especially crucial, because drumming up buzz can be tricky for some of the world’s less “sexy” technologies.

Struggling to keep your clients in the press? Use these tips that we have success with on a regular basis:

Join the conversation Increase brand awareness and drive credibility by inserting your client into larger industry conversations. When a reporter is working on a news story, they usually like to include third party commentary for perspective and authority. By staying on top of the news in your clients’ space, you can proactively pitch your executives as subject matter experts to reporters. In doing so you have made the writer’s life a little easier and also landed thought leadership in an article on a topic that directly relates to your client.

Be sure to closely monitor newsletters like ProfNet and HARO, which are great services that match up journalists with sources, and act quickly on postings relevant to your client.

Show some personality Executive profiles are a great way to secure major feature articles without news. Start by doing some digging on what makes your clients’ top executives unique. Interesting childhoods, cool hobbies and unorthodox leadership approaches are all great hooks. Often the founder of the company will have a great story about what led them to create their business – use that when possible. There are lots of reporters in business press and local publications who regularly profile executives, so do some research and pitch accordingly.

Get back to the basics Some of the most successful media placements are not the result of pitching a press release, but instead uncovering a natural match between client and media. Take the time to find that perfect reporter who should definitely know about your client, write them a genuine note explaining why you think they’ll care, and offer them an introductory briefing. Coverage won’t be guaranteed, but this can be a great way to forge important relationships so that the reporter may think of your client when working on a story down the line.

At my agency, some of the biggest hits we secure are the result of proactive outreach rather than an announcement. We see time and time again that being both creative and tenacious in your approach to media relations can lead to impressive results.

When there’s no hard news, what other methods have you had success with for getting clients media coverage?