LPP PR Recipes Series: Securing Business Press Coverage
This holiday season, Lois Paul and Partners is bringing you a series of recipes to share the best ingredients and practices required to achieve great PR results. Subscribe to our blog to follow the series and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ for more social content and inspiration year-round.
Like my grandmother always told me, recipes must be flexible. One day the dough needs more flour because of the weather, an extra dash of sugar never hurts. Securing business press coverage is just like baking pizzelles – the recipe is a guideline, but feel free to make it your own!
- A creative, timely story to tell
- A killer spokesperson (two for added flavor)
- A cool customer (optional, but yields the best results)
- Pinch of anecdotes and statistics
The recipe below is similar to one recently used to secure coverage in WSJ’s CIO Journal for LPP client TwinStrata, who helped a customer move their data off a defunct cloud in a surprisingly quick timeframe. We thought the story was very cool, and so did The Wall Street Journal. Hope you’re hungry!
Prepare your ingredients by extracting the cool part of a story. This typically requires a conversation with the client or client’s customer to determine where the story is strong and to develop a good understanding of the details.
Whisk together a pitch. Combine facts, stats and a compelling anecdote to make the story come alive. Keep the pitch short – reporters are busy and appreciate a PR pro who respects their time.
Pitch your story! My recommendation is to give the reporter a call and try to catch him or her live. Reporters can hear your passion for the topic when you discuss live, and you’re better able to make your case for the story’s relevance during a conversation. If they’re away from their desks, leave a voicemail and send your pitch by email. Be sure to follow up.
Once the reporter has expressed interest, it’s time to coordinate the interview. Just like a pie is never supposed to go into the oven without the helping hand of an oven mitt, a spokesperson should always go into the conversation with a briefing document, which prepares them for any questions that may arise during the conversation and suggests effective talking points.
Place story in the oven – AKA the media interview! During this step, the client spokesperson will share their news or story with a reporter. Reporters, especially business press reporters, like to have a customer to speak with as well. This customer can be your greatest asset. What would ma’s apple pie be without the apples?! Be sure to sprinkle in anecdotes and effective statistics.
Even after setting a timer, few people actually walk away after placing something in the oven. Likewise, even after you have completed the interview, it's important to continue to monitor its progress. Coordinate follow ups between the reporter and your client. This is a crucial stage to keeping both parties happy, addressing additional questions, and ensuring coverage.
Serve your story to client piping hot. Enjoy!