Online marketers tend to ignore traditional press. They’ll get exposure on social networking sites, social bookmarking sites and try to get their content written up about by other people’s blogs. But by and large, they don’t contact the offline world.
Yet getting exposure in the offline world isn’t any more difficult than the online world. The difference is when you get exposure offline, the traffic is often both higher in volume and higher in quality than the traffic you get from online sources.
How do you get PR attention? Here’s how.
==> Identify Potential Publications
Don’t do press releases. Don’t fax in press releases and don’t do online press releases. While these may be good for backlinks, by and large editors and writers at successful publications find their stories from other sources.
Instead, it’s much more effective to take a more direct approach. Start by figuring out which publication(s) might be interested in the things you’re doing. If they’ve written about things in the past which are similar to what you’re doing, chances are they’ll be interested in the topic.
Try to identify both mainstream publications and smaller distribution publications. A great resource is the Standard Rates and Data Services publication (SRDS), which lists every newspaper and magazine in the country. You can find the SRDS at your local library.
Get copies of newspapers or magazines you might want to get in contact with. Find the specific names of the editors and/or writers who would be interested in your topic by seeing who wrote about the topic in the past.
==> Coming Up With a Newsworthy Angle
Before you approach a magazine, make sure you have a newsworthy angle.
A newsworthy angle is essentially an angle on what you’re doing that’ll make someone stop and actually want to read the whole article.
Think of it like a one-line sentence or a headline that’ll make someone stop and say “What?” and keep reading.
Brainstorm different angles on your business or product to make it as interesting to potential editors as possible.
==> Making Direct Contact
At this point, just email the editor/writer who you think might be interested in your story. Mention that you read their article about topic X in the past and thought they might be interested in your product/business.
Make it clear you actually know who they are and what they’re about and you’re not just spamming. Keep it short and spicy. Convey your newsworthy angle, add one or two lines then attach your contact information.
Not every publication you contact will get back to you. But the percentage of editors and writers who’ll actually call you back might surprise you.
Remember: Newspapers and magazines need to find good stories as much as you want to get published. If you find publications who’ll be interested in the kind of things you’re offering, it’s in their best interest to build the relationship.