Seven Great PR Tips for Winning Press Coverage

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Reporters are always looking for compelling stories. You can help them and, at the same time, win press coverage for your products, services, organization, or cause. Every organization, including yours, has newsworthy information. Sometimes you just have to dig a bit to get to it. Here are seven suggestions that will help you find the stories within your organization that you can pitch to get positive press attention and boost your public relations:

1. Identify Trends in Your Industry.

Use your organization/product/issue as an example of a trend — and pitch it as a story idea to the magazines, newsletters, and websites your customers and prospects read.



2. Highlight a Milestone.

Does your organization have an accomplishment or anniversary to brag about that is of public interest — a new product, service, partnership, event, contract win, or hire? Find a news hook for it. Here, for example, are some commemorations that might be good news hooks for your products or services: National School Success Month, National Preparedness Month, Self-Improvement Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month.

3. Take Note of a ''First in a Series'' Article.

If you and your company would fit into the series as good sources, contact the reporter with reasons you might be included in the next article in the series.

4. Commission a Study or Survey.

The results of the study or survey need to appeal to the news outlets you most want to reach. Cosponsor the survey with a well-known industry organization to boost visibility. Online companies let you create, send, and analyze surveys via the web at a very small cost. For inexpensive online polling try www.surveymonkey.com, www.questionpro.com, www.constantcontact.com, www.freeonlinesurveys.com, info.zoomerang.com, or www.vovici.com.

5. Spotlight Newsworthy People in Your Organization.

For example, if a staffer is a gifted writer, musician, or athlete, pitch the story to the appropriate editors of the newspaper. That way you’ll also have a chance of getting your organization mentioned in the Arts, Sports, and Local sections as well as Business.

6. Write a Column Yourself.

Somewhere in your organization is a white paper or speech that you can cut to 800 words and submit as an op-ed or ''expert'' column to a trade publication or local business journal. Buy reprints and add them to your sales and marketing materials.

7. Send News Releases.

They do work if they’re concise, newsworthy, and timely. Keep out the fluff and spin. Put the real news in the headline and first paragraph. Before you send a release, put yourself in a reporter’s place — ''Could I write a story using this information?'' A regular ''drumbeat'' of releases (one or two a month) keeps your visibility high and helps keep you current when reporters do Internet searches to look for information. About 400 to 500 words is the optimum length.

About the Author

Robert Deigh is principal of RDC Communication/PR and the author of How Come No One Knows About Us? (WBusiness Books, May 2008), the ultimate PR guide for any organization. To get a full chapter by email (called ''Use These 16 Sure-Fire Ways to Come Up with Story Ideas that Will Attract Press'') from his upcoming book, to inquire about his availability for speeches or workshops, or to subscribe to his popular monthly online newsletter, PR Quick Tips, contact him at rdeigh1@aol.com or
703-503-9321. His website is www.rdccommunication.com.
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