In this video, Entrepreneur editor in chief Jason Feifer reveals strategies for getting press coverage.
4 min read
Every entrepreneur wants press, but few understand how to reach out to a reporter and frame their story in a way that’ll get attention. In this video, Entrepreneur editor in chief Jason Feifer digs into his career — and his inbox! — to provide a useful and revealing guide to what journalists think, what they’re looking for and how to develop a press strategy that really works.
Here are three big takeaways from the discussion:
1. Understand who you’re contacting
You don’t pitch a consumer without understanding their needs, and you don’t pitch an investor without studying what they’re looking for. The same must be true for journalists. To properly connect with them, you need to understand what motivates them. And here’s the most important answer: A journalist’s job is to serve their readers (or listeners or viewers), so they’re always looking for stories and insights that’ll provide value to that audience.
What’s the best way to get their attention? Study their work! Carefully read a publication and think about how it tells stories, what information it provides, and the way it speaks to its audience. This will give you a lot of insight about how best to pitch your story. If you can frame your story in a way that fits a publication’s needs, you’ll increase your chances fo success.
2. Be strategic with your outreach
Before you reach out to media, ask yourself: What do I need press for? You should have a good answer to this. Maybe you need press to drive awareness about a new product, or to boost your profile before approaching investors. These are all good reasons.
What are bad reasons? Some entrepreneurs pursue press because they feel like they’re supposed to, or that they’ve earned the attention, or because they always imagined themselves in Entrepreneur (or some other publication). If this is how you’re thinking, then stop looking for press and spend your time more wisely! Press is a tool, just like raising money. You should only pursue it when there’s a clear need. Otherwise you’re wasting your time — and entrepreneurs don’t have time to waste.
3. If you hire a publicist, choose wisely
You don’t need a publicist; it’s possible to get press on your own. But a publicist can certainly save you a lot of time and hassle. Their job is to help you tell your story and connect with journalists who might be interested in you. However, they have no control over whether you actually get coverage. The best they can do is make connections and position you for success. If a publicist guarantees you press coverage, do not hire them. They’re likely up to no good.
If you want to hire a publicist, here’s the most important thing to know: Some publicists are great, but many are terrible at their jobs. The difference is that great publicists build relationships, and terrible ones just send a lot of email. How can you tell them apart? Do your homework! Ask a publicist for a detailed proposal, talk to their existing and former clients, and investigate to make sure they have experience with the industry you work in. You want to understand how this person operates, who they have strong relationships with, and whether they’ll truly understand you and your story.