What to expect when you hire someone to do press outreach

You’ve got a great product or service that few people know about. You can fix that by getting media coverage. It’s the best way to reach the masses with your story. But based on Media Relations Agency’s 30+ years of delivering performance-based PR, there are some truths you should know about what typically happens when you hire someone to reach out to the media on your behalf. 

Publicity is the backbone of any great marketing campaign, and we literally wrote the best-selling book about marketing.  

Earlier in my career, I pitched our clients’ stories to the media myself. Now, I manage a team of highly experienced publicists who, using our proprietary media contact database, consistently arrange earned media coverage for clients who represent a breadth of industries.

Especially if you’ve never attempted to get media coverage before, here are five facts you should remember: 

  1. You’re starting at ground zero. Think of PR as a ladder of fame. As you climb, you get closer to becoming a celebrity. Right now, chances are good the media hasn’t heard of you. They’re not pounding down your doors for interviews. They have to be convinced to do stories about you. That’s why just sending a press release rarely works. Some PR agencies require monthly fees just to try to get media placements. We’re different. We pull together all the materials we might need to educate the media about your product, so that they understand why their audiences will want to know your story. With our Pay Per Interview® model, you only pay us for results. If there are reporters who might be interested in your story, we’re motivated to find them. 
  2. Expecting sales from each media story is a rookie mistake. As with ads, a media story doesn’t guarantee sales. But overall, media stories are better at driving sales than advertising. That’s because ads don’t give you enough space to tell a compelling story. It’s hard to build desire and product loyalty with ads. You’ll also reach fewer people with most ads. Dollar for dollar, publicity is cheaper than advertising and it yields longer term results.  
  3. People miss seeing ads or they actively block them. But there are many ways to ensure people see your media story.  We help our clients get really good at doing this. You can share the link in your social channels, send it to prospects in a newsletter and reference it in a blog. That’s just a few strategies we routinely help clients implement. 
  4. You’re going to need a lot of media coverage. Media stories must first build awareness before they can build demand. Large or small, each story reaches thousands of people and demonstrates that you are worthy of the media’s attention. This is why, in addition to talking with media that specifically reaches our clients’ target market, we reach out to the media that have the broadest reach in each of our clients’ distribution areas. We want people to see our clients’ stories whether they are catching up on regional news or educating themselves on subjects related to our clients’ products. 
  5. National media coverage doesn’t happen overnight. You first need credibility. Most reporters and producers working on the national level have earned their positions by starting at local or regional media outlets. They know that stories that run in those smaller outlets have a tremendous influence on audiences. When national reporters see that a business has repeatedly earned space in local and regional media, they are much more likely to believe it deserves national attention.

You may not be a recognized brand yet, but you could be! If you’d like to talk about what this might look like for your business to start climbing the ladder of fame, call me at 952-697-5269 or use our contact form to set up a call. 

Written by Heather Champine

Heather is a multi-faceted leader. She’s part marketing strategist, part consumer psychologist and part motivational cheerleader. “I love understanding what drives people to take action, especially when it involves getting the media to run stories about our clients,” she says. With more than 20 years of experience, she has the keen understanding and insight to know how to run an integrated campaign and what it takes for our clients’ stories to become the news. She enjoys leading campaigns for complex industries such as medical devices and technologies, as well as fun industries such as hair salons. She thrives on pursuing creative ways to educate consumers about clients’ products, and ultimately inspiring them to buy. “I appreciate becoming a part of each client’s marketing team. I cherish the long-lasting relationships, and successful marketing programs we have created together.” Heather also finds joy in her daily collaborations as part of our creative team. “I am grateful to work with publicists, writers, designers and other marketing experts, all enjoying what they do because they are using their God-given strengths. Our publicists have great instincts because they all have media backgrounds. When things get hectic, it’s often Heather who cracks the first joke. “We encourage people to be a little goofy and unique. Some of the best ideas and solutions emerge because we know how to have fun,” she grins. “I may say something like, “Remember this is PR not the ER. Now, lighten up and go book a great story idea with the media!”

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