How to attract journalists' interest in your brand

How to attract journalists’ interest in your brand

Free PR is a highly valued commodity in today’s business environment. Companies that succeed in spreading their messages across the media landscape are more likely to be seen by their audiences than their competitors, increasing brand awareness and potentially sales.

However, convincing journalists of what they are doing remains a challenge. Businesses must be newsworthy to land on the front page of websites, magazines and other publications. Journalists don’t just publish old stories about companies. There must be at least a news component.

Help journalists

Helping journalists is often the first step in building a relationship with the news organizations and shoe companies that post messages in the public forum. Companies that have field experts assist journalists with advice and information gathering are more likely to be perceived positively, increasing the likelihood of mentions and backlinks to their sites or bio pages.

Helping a journalist or “HARO” is a common tactic, but what HARO is and how to use it is not always clear. “Companies need a better understanding of HARO if they want to dominate the awareness phase of the buying cycle,” says Joe Davies, founder of marketing agency FATJOE. “Companies need to understand how to build relationships and open the door to larger, more profitable opportunities in the future.”

The process, according to Davies, is simple and doesn’t take much time. “Many journalists will simply ask for a quote or clarification on technical issues. Simply having expert commentary on their stories is a great way to add legitimacy and authority to articles and engage readers.”

Of course, companies that help journalists should still focus on providing newsworthy content. Most quality publications will not accept marketing editorials. Therefore, companies must carefully consider the value of what they convey. Journalists want to feel like talking to them helps them get to the heart of the matter for their readers. It should be valuable to anyone who reads the news or wants to know more about developments in a specific area.

Make it click-worthy

In an increasingly digital landscape, news must be click-worthy. Articles should stand out in newsfeeds, promising users unique or new information that entertains or informs them or improves their lives in some way.

Therefore, brands looking to work with journalists should focus on making their stories click-worthy. There should be a strong incentive for users to click the link to learn more.

“We’re seeing huge demand from journalists for interesting, new stories,” confirms Davies. “Publishers want to publish quirky or fascinating articles that excite their readers and encourage them to keep learning more. All brands need to do is insert their expertise to gain immediate authority among the audience without seeming overly promotional.”

It’s this last tactic that is likely to be most effective in a banner-saturated world. Companies that can blend their advertising with content natively are more likely to succeed.

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