There are many ways to get the press to talk about your event or product, some are more controversial than others. But if you ask us, we have five tips that have helped us to get press coverage for the photography exhibition Urban Legend while maintaining a good relationship with journalists.
Tip #1 – Start with a press release
For tips on writing a press release, refer to an earlier post. But for Urban Legend the photography exhibition, the below release formed the foundation of our media strategy to garner press coverage.
Tip #2 – Target the right journalists
After you have determined which newspapers or magazines to send the release to, it’s worthwhile doing some background research to find out the movements of the respective journalists.
For example, there’s no point sending a release to a journalist that has a work from home arrangement or is currently on an overseas assignment. The release would most likely be sitting at an empty desk amongst other mail. You may have to call up their offices, speak to the journalist’s other colleagues, to understand if you’ve got the right person and when is the best time to send your release and the best time to do a follow up call.
We’ve come across editorial teams of varying working arrangements and division of responsibilities, so we never assume it’s always the editor to approach.
Tip #3 – Show your sincerity
We always prefer to drop off the press release personally, with a personalised invitation to attend a special preview of the event or a sample of the new product to be launched.
It can be hard getting past the receptionist, but you’ll be surprised how a little bit of sincerity and courtesy can help you get some cooperation from the gatekeepers. Even if you don’t get to meet the journalist, your release would have gotten more attention for the extra effort.
Tip #4 – Follow up, but don’t hassle
Be really tactful when following up with the journalists. Ultimately what they can offer you is free publicity, but they don’t owe you anything so play your cards right. Call at the most convenient time to the journalist, be polite in your emails and thank them for going through your release.
Tip #5 – Express thanks and keep regular contact
There’s no describing the satisfaction of seeing your event or product being featured in the press. As you can see below, we got heaps for Urban Legend the photography exhibition. And we didn’t forget to express our thanks with a gentle email, for there’s nothing worse than to have the media label you as ungrateful.