05.30.20169 min read

49 Surprising Tips for Getting Attention in Mass Media

Everyone wants to get noticed. And everyone wants attention.

Well, why are we trying the same old, tired techniques?

When you’re trying to gain media attention it’s important to stand out. If you’re exactly like everyone else, why would anyone care to cover you?

Find your unique voice and own it.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to repeat what works for others, but find your own spin on that approach.

Below are 49 unconventional, yet effective, approaches for getting attention in mass media.

1. Spot an information gap

Find an information gap for a particular reporter (Hint: Read other reporters’ accounts as well.)

2. Hire an editor

Hire an editor or outside contractor with experience editing. Treat each email like you would a blog post, brand page, etc.

3. A/B test subjects

A/B test subject headings when pitching several reporters and editors. Take notice of who replies given which headings.

4. Revisit a local story

Locals, already familiar with a topic, may be interested to hear follow-up stories.

5. Target industry-specific reporters

Target reporters who regularly cover your niche, and contact them for direct quotes for a story that you’re writing.

6. Find something in common

Find a common bond, doing an image (or reverse image) search for their name to possibly unearth pictures of them doing hobbies or pictures they’ve used in their pieces.

reverse image for mass media

7. Place deposits before reaching out

Don’t (just) follow a reporter before you make an outreach attempt. Make (at least) two sentiments of interest (follow the reporter on Twitter and comment on a post of theirs) before writing an outreach email.

8. Pitch warm leads

Pitch a follow-up or annual study to those who have previously covered you or your business.

9. Take it old school

Send a written letter as outreach rather than email, place it in a larger envelope and include pictures and graphs to supplement your insight—be different!

10. Support your claims

Find (at least) three supporting articles (from respected sources) to support your own arguments or position for credibility purposes.

11. Take a unique stance

Make a counterargument regarding a reporter or organization’s opinion; even if a reporter does not agree, they may want to include a counterpoint in a follow-up story.

12. Run a contest

Consider changing the name of your business, service, or popular product, and get consumers involved in the process via a contest.

13. Follow ongoing stories

Take interest in ongoing stories with two or more reporters contributing. You’ll be more likely to offer something one (or the others) find intriguing.

14. Don’t just rely on Google alerts

Use another alert system, besides Google, to stay on top of stories and particular reporters.

alert system for mass media

15. Create an authority perception

Include links to prior articles you’ve written (or been referenced in) along with your email signature during the initial outreach to express authority.

16. Reply promptly

Don’t keep an interested reporter waiting; get back to them within the hour.

17. Play to your strengths

If you’re a better speaker than writer, consider uploading a YouTube video rather than write, yet explain (in the body of the email) why you rather include a video link.

18. Provide another point of view

Include quotes of a friend or colleague who has a counterpoint to your argument. Both parties may get coverage.

19. Be generous by linking

Along with a written thank you, get digital and thank them with a link.

20. Maintain ongoing contact

Making contact (email, tweet, blog comment) once each month.

21. Get eyes on your email

Have (at least) two other people read your email for grammar and spelling before sending it to a reporter or editor.

22. Keep things professional

Avoid Facebook stalking or informal gestures on Twitter.

23. Set them up with someone else

If you think an influencer in your niche (has already) answered a reporter’s present query, do the work for the former party and send the reporter a link to quotes or works along with contact information.

24. Send them a doll

Send a personalized bobblehead doll as a memorable "thank you" sentiment.

25. Make a donation

Make a donation in the name of the reporter or media outlet in appreciation for coverage or ongoing contact.

26. Take it to Pinterest

Make a Pinterest board filled with insights regarding a particular topic, and refer reporters to your curated effort.

make a pinterest board for mass media

27. Create a unique landing page

Filled with information to supplement your initial information, especially if you have a lot of information to relay.

28. Use Twitter lists

Create a Twitter list of people who can help a reporter with a query.

create a twitter list for mass media

29. Use a unique hashtag

Create a hashtag to support a reporter’s active and ongoing query or topic of interest.

create a hashtag for mass media

30. Use Twitter chats

Interview a reporter or editor via a Twitter chat.

31. Don’t just use influencers

Don’t only use "influencers" for roundup or mass opinion posts; those with a limited number of followers are (more) likely to appreciate the attention.

32. Get creative

If you’re a graphic artist, or an in-house designer, consider creating a political cartoon to illustrate a point rather than write an argument or opinion.

33. Take your data visual

Ask influencers to contribute to an ongoing collage of data, tables, and other varieties of visual information.

34. Make a thank you page

Create a thank you page of particular followers who express extra interest in your posts, tweets, insights, etc.

35. Talk in benefits

Make sure you address how your information benefits the reporter’s readers.

36. Tap into BuzzSumo

Use BuzzSumo to find the most-shared content and to identify influencers.

use buzzsumo for mass media

37. Focus on the intro of your email

Spend most of your time on the opening three-to-four sentences of the outreach email.

38. Be a good listener

Establish that you’re a good listener, relaying previous opinions and work of reporters.

39. Be thankful

Thank the reporter for their time (even if you don’t hear back from them). It’s a sentiment of respect (as well as a subtle reminder!)

40. Think in arcs

Show the reporter you’re savvy about where a story has been and (especially) where it’s going. Reporters look for arcs, so you should too.

41. Be patient

Wait to respond to a query you can truly contribute toward—first impressions count.

42. Care about the relationship first

Focus on building a relationship with a reporter more than being covered for a story.

43. Ask questions

Ask questions in comments and using tweets rather than only sharing a reporter’s story.

ask questions in comments for mass media

44. Use an analogy

Use an analogy to support your position or argument (perhaps using a hobby or interest of the reporter).

45. Leverage line spacing

Use spacing in your email, especially between major points.

46. Be confident

Be confident with your writing voice; you are asking for inclusion in a story, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re doing something for the reporter too.

47. Be aware of deadlines

Reporters work with deadlines; let them know that you’re available for a follow up whenever they’re ready.

48. Keep an email chain going

When following up with a reporter, use the same email chain (for their convenience) rather than starting a new string.

49. Get better at outreach

Get better at outreach, reading related literature and being inquisitive about reporter and editor preferences. 

This article was written by Cam Secore from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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