Journalists, just like you, often juggle multiple projects at once. They need sources that answer promptly, are correct with their facts and figures and clear on their expertise. Answering phone calls from journalists quickly, within less than 4 hours, helps them meet their deadlines and, if necessary, follow up with others.
The press relations business, on the whole, was on a slow decline in 2015, partially due to the similar decline in newspapers and magazines. By some reports, there are now six public relations workers for every one journalist. And those journalists complain about being bombarded with press releases. That could explain why press releases have dropped out of favor. And as inbound marketing grew (emailed newsletters, etc.), working to get that precious press attention seemed less worth it.
But free is almost always good. So how can you use the free marketing of newspapers, magazines, blogs and podcasts to your advantage without slaving over a bunch of soon to be ignored press releases? Becoming the reliable, quotable source for journalists isn’t as hard as you might think. Here are a few methods for obtaining a little free press and airtime.
Reliability. Journalists, just like you, often juggle multiple projects at once. They need sources that answer promptly, are correct with their facts and figures and clear on their expertise. Answering phone calls from journalists quickly, within less than 4 hours, helps them meet their deadlines and, if necessary, follow up with others. Being clear and correct with your facts and figures helps those journalists know they won’t have to re-write an entire portion of their piece when your data is out of date. Having industry reports, newsletters or other items that back up your statements that you can easily send to those journalists and reporters helps them make their deadline. And that helps bring those reporters back for more quotes, ensuring more coverage for you.
If you have a niche that you often fill in your financial advisory business– whether that is helping Millenials plan for families through choosing appropriate life insurance or helping fifty somethings change their estate plans to add a new adopted child – let that be known. Write about that niche on your blog, point to it in your twitter and other social media feeds and make sure to send it out in your newsletters. Journalists cultivate sources at odd and off times for pieces they may be planning to pitch to their editors later, so never miss an opportunity to connect.
Collaboration. One way to help ensure the reporter you just worked with comes knocking again is to help advertise their story. As soon as the article publishes, help boost it to your office, social networks, career colleagues and, if relevant and allowed by your state’s marketing laws, to your clients. Make sure to post the article on your LinkedIn profile as well as your firm’s blog. This in turn helps other journalists find you when they are seeking out potential sources.
Similarly, bloggers, podcasters and social media folks, like YouTubers, who have to create content and post it with a high frequency may be very open to collaborating on their channels. Got a favorite Youtuber expecting a baby? Offer to have them visit you for an interview or review of their financial needs for their next vlog or post. If there is someone in your specific industry that blogs or creates content that might work well with a specific program you have done, offer to invite them to join you or to interview you. For example, if one of your client dinners focuses on planning for care of a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s, consider reaching out to a blogger or vloger who covers special needs financial planning and ask them to attend or present with you. Cross marketing almost always results in more than the sum of the parts.
Communicate. Just as you stay on top of industry news, keep abreast of local news too. As you find articles of interest, think about keeping a running list of the reporters involved. Many of those reporters may be on social media, like Twitter, or on networking sites, like LinkedIn. When appropriate, comment on their articles, retweet and share them with friends. When you have a press release or newsworthy item to send out, don’t send it to every journalist you can find. Instead, send it to only those journalists on the list you’ve cultivated.
Trustworthiness. Finally, when you do send out a press release, make sure the information in it is accurate and complete. The more trustworthy your information is in your press release the more trustworthy it will appear in the article or blog post. This also means being clear about where your expertise runs low.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal