It happens every day.
You peel open the pages of your favorite magazine and “wham!” Your competitor is staring at you from those glossy pages like a smack in the face.
So how do YOU score national press coverage just like your competition in magazines, newspapers, radio or TV shows?
Hint: it has to do with your blog.
With all the cool social media tools we have available to us, we no longer have to wait for the press to tell our story. Blogging provides the perfect platform for us to share all of our goods as often as we’d like.
Now, writing super juicy blog posts is one thing. Scoring national press from them is a whole different ball game. Follow these tips to turn your blog into a press-generating machine.
Blog Like the Cover of a Magazine
Every media outlet follows an editorial schedule, and I know Laura would second this notion of creating an editorial calendar for your blog. If you want the national press to stand at attention, you have to blog about things that they are actually covering. For example, if you notice almost every outlet will talk about “spring cleaning” in March or “beating the heat” in July or August. Simply follow those editorial trends and you’re that much closer to engaging the press.
A great headline is key. But what if you really suck at writing headlines? Then you need a date with Barnes and Noble.
Get a copy of every single magazine that aligns with your brand. Then make your own headline “swipe file.” Write down words and phrases found on the cover and inside pages of magazines that ‘speak’ your brand. For example, a magazine that fits my brand is SELF (happy, healthy and fun) and some words and phrases include ‘so-simple,’ ‘cheat sheet,’ best summer ever,’ ‘maximum motivation,’ and ‘secrets to a stronger you.’ You’ll see I use variations of these words and phrases in my blog and other marketing materials.
Re-work, Re-use, Recycle
Don’t expect the media to stumble upon your amazing blog. Go to them with this so-simple strategy (see, told you I could use something from my last tip!)
Every single blog you write can easily be re-worked and recycled into a clear, concise, and compelling pitch. You can alert a small list of targeted media outlets each time you blog by emailing them a short, personal pitch letter on the blog topic and provide the link to your post if they’d like to read further. You can also re-use older blog posts to correspond with media deadlines. For example:
I hope are well and finally enjoying the glimmer of warm weather! With Spring right around the corner and bathing suit season not far behind, I recently wrote a blog post on at-home spa treatments that provide a head-to-toe glow for half the price. These treatments use items that are found in most kitchens – including yogurt, honey, brown sugar, and banana. Please feel free to use all or any parts of this blog for <media outlet name> as long as you cite <your name, your website address> as the source. I am also available for interviews on this topic. I have copied the blog post below and provided a link to the post below for your convenience. Thank you in advance for your consideration!
Bonus hint: if you have seriously no clue how to write a pitch letter, I have an entire eBook that shows you how for FREE.
Watch your Deadlines
If you’re using the recycle method, be aware of media deadlines. While newspapers, TV and radio typically work close to deadline (booking interviews and writing stories anywhere from 1-6 weeks ahead), magazines are quite different. National magazines work about 3-6 months in advance of deadline. So if you’re pitching a national magazine a story on spring in March, they promptly toss your pitch in the trash bin. Magazines work on June, July and August issues in March. This means you may need to dip into last year’s blog posts and see what you can re-work to fit this summer’s trends.
I was chatting with an editor at a major magazine recently about how many pitches she receives from business owners just like you. She said “Do you know how many people pitch me every day? Hundreds. Do you know how many comment on my blog? Maybe one a week.”
How can we expect the media to give us attention when we don’t reciprocate?
Homework for everyone reading this post. If you want national media coverage, go and do some research. Do the magazines, TV shows, newspapers, or radio shows you desire have a blog? If yes, read those blogs regularly and comment often! This is a great way to build relationships with the media and, if your blog posts are relevant, offer a complimentary or conflicting viewpoint, or additional information on the topic, you can often post a link to it in the comments section. A win-win for both parties!