12 Steps to Gaining Free Media Attention

Securing attention for your brand is not as simple as it sounds. Publishers and editors receive hundreds of emails every day, vying for their attention. The first question to ask yourself is, how am I going to stand out in a crowd?

So, how do you write a media release?

1. Understand Your USP

Your USP is your unique selling proposition. How is your brand unique and special? What are you bringing to the table that no one else is? This is a crucial first step in branding before you even consider hitting up the media. There is no minimum or limit to USPs, they are what makes you unique. These could include: Ethically made products, family-run business, female-led company, quality, scarcity, or customisation. Begin brainstorming now!

2. Just Begin

Writing a media release sounds daunting but the first step is to sit down and scribe notes. If you feel stuck, the best way is to start bullet pointing. It frees you from having to write perfectly. Another tip? Simply write what you know. You clearly know a lot about your business, industry or product, or you wouldn’t have made it this far. You also know more than anyone else does about your brand. The point is - just begin. The act of sitting down to a fresh page will allow thoughts and words to ensue.

3. Write a Killer Headline

The reality is that without a killer headline, the rest of the article won’t matter because it won’t be seen. This is your chance to shine. What’s the hook? How can you capture the attention of an editor who has 100 emails land in their inbox daily?

4. Make it Matter

When writing your story, it’s important to remind yourself, why does this matter? What value are you bringing to the audience? The truth is, nobody cares about your brand. Unless you have a story that is provocative, ground-breaking, tear-jerking or completely newsworthy, there’s little chance your article will get seen. How can you shake things up?

5. Write in the Third Person

Ensure your story is written in the third person, as though you were writing about someone else. You read that right – the editor doesn’t want to write the story for you, they just want to edit it and post it. So, make their job as easy as possible and write about yourself and your brand as though you were the media company.

6. Include Quotes and Testimonials

Whether the quotes are from you the founder, a customer, a partner, an influencer, a celebrity, an expert, or a collaborator, you’ll want at least three quotes throughout your article to provide credibility.

7. Include Links

What good is your media release if it’s a dead end for the reader? Ensure you include links to any person or external mention, as well as your own website, throughout the copy. This enhances SEO and encourages behaviour flow.

8. Edit Without Mercy

A wise person once taught me many years ago to write without fear, and edit without mercy. That’s what I encourage you to do here. This is not the time to be precious, cute or clever. It’s not the time to be fluffy and whimsical. It’s time to be succinct and meaningful and capture your audience’s attention.

9. Understand Your Goals

If your article does get published (HOORAY!) you’ll need to first understand the goal behind the media coverage. Whether it’s sales, brand awareness or credibility, be clear on your purpose so you understand what you want out of it. For example, if the goal is sales conversion, but the editor only mentions your personal name (rather than your brand) and doesn’t link to your site, you’ll feel utterly disappointed in the outcome. Get clear on your media goals.

10. Leverage the Coverage

Once you get published, be sure to share the sh*t out of the media coverage on all your platforms – otherwise, your audience may have no idea that it even happened. You want them to see and hear the credibility of an article that is published about you.

11. Include a Bio

Keep this succinct – no more than 150 words should do it. Following the article, be sure to include a message about yourself and your brand. Don’t forget to include contact details and a link to your website. 

12. Personalise the Process

When sending your media release, you’ll want to do some research about the person you’re contacting. You can find the right editors and publishers on Linked In. Be sure to use their first name, introduce yourself and be personable. After you send the article, follow up with a phone call. Yes, this requires hard work and perseverance, but once you are finally seen, the process gets easier, and a snowball effect ensues. 

Persistence pays off in spades! Keep going. If you need me, I'm here for you.

Love Leah xx