WHERE DO YOU FIT ON THE PAGE WHEN IT COMES TO PR?
By Natalie Trice
When you think about pitching to media, who do you approach?
The news desk?
The shopping pages?
Do you know where your story best fits before you approach a journalist?
Each media outlet usually contains many opportunities for getting your story talked about. If you get to know your target media and its different pages, sections and columns, your approach to media will be more tailored and targeted…exactly what a media pitch should be.
Set aside an hour this week to sit down with your key magazines, newspapers and websites and really get to know them. Use Post-Its to mark relevant pages and then create your own media library that you can refer to when you have a story and one you can add to as you progress with your PR journey.
You might think your story fits in one part of a newspaper - an interview slot for example. However, the Features Editor might take a look at it and think you would be perfect for a three-person case study about women who have set up businesses from their kitchen tables.
Knowledge is power and investing time and energy into working out where your story best fits will play a key part in your pitch success rate.
Where do you fit?
Here’s a rundown of typical sections found in newspapers and magazines, as well as some digital media.
The Main News
The big news of the day appears on the front and early pages of papers and is often on the homepages of websites too. As we move through the day this will change as breaking news comes in.
It isn’t impossible to feature in these parts of publications, but the news has to be big, really big, to seal the deal.
Features are longer articles that look at the issues of the day in greater depth.
They usually tie into current events, issues or trends and are where you can comment as an expert, so make sure you monitor the media and know what is going on in the world.
Personality Profiles and Interviews
A profile piece or interview lets the reader know more about someone, they include images and are a really effective way of telling your story. Make sure you have a relevant story that fits and remember, these slots aren’t just for celebrities.
Human Interest Stories
Human interest stories are all about that strong emotional, heartfelt connection with the reader.
Look in most weekend newspaper magazines and supplements and they will be full of stories about true love, adoption, family disputes and they all tell a story.
How To and Top Tips Features
These are really popular on websites like Forbes. They are usually written by experts in their field and are a fantastic positioning tool. The person is passing on their knowledge to their audience on a trusted platform and that is really powerful.
These photo-led spreads are a brilliant way to get your products in front of a captive audience and drive sales.
Twitter is a good place to look out for these opportunities so keep an eye on the journo request hashtag to see who is looking for what and where you could appear.
Either images or actual products tend to be needed for these and you probably won’t see products returned, so be sure it is worth the investment before you say yes.
Reviews are a staple of the media, both on and offline. These contain are honest feedback from the reviewer and can be really powerful and persuasive.
Competitions are another way to directly get in front of your target audience and build engagement and awareness.
Various costs are attached and range from a page placement fee in the bigger magazines to offering the prizes and images to smaller outlets and influencers.
Hi! I’n Natalie and i’m a PR director based in Devon.
As a Guest Editor I cannot wait to bring to you my skills and knowledge for all things PR related, I have a passion for female led business and I’m here to keep you on track media wise - your secret PR ninja! I have worked with international TV channels, leading IT companies, famous fashion houses, eccentric entrepreneurs, ambitious start-ups, and many more around the world, ensuring they secure column inches, are heard on sound waves and use PR to take them to the next level - I love my job!
When i’m not PRing, you will find me on the beach, with my family and our dog, or in the water braving the South Devon waves on a board. If all else fails, I will be out shopping or tucked up with a good book! You can read all about me here.