5 things to consider when seeking US press coverage

Every day each one of us receives hundreds (if not thousands) of messages. Whether it’s an advertisement on the subway, a post on Facebook, or an article on the front page of The New York Times, messages are being delivered to us on a regular basis.

One of the challenges we face is cutting through this noise long enough to decipher what’s valuable and what’s not. This is especially true for brands looking to secure the interest of U.S. media. With journalists’ inboxes already overflowing with new businesses and endless story ideas, the competition to have your message heard is undoubtedly fierce.

With this in mind, here are five things your company should consider when seeking out US press coverage:

  1. Beats are incredibly niche.

When browsing the ideal press outlets where you wish to see coverage, keep in mind that each reporter has a particular beat to cover. Some reporters might write at the intersection of technology and pop culture, but that doesn’t mean your tech wearable will be the right fit.

As the U.S. media landscape continues to become increasingly crowded, beats will be refined and narrowed. It’s important to think beyond your product’s industry, and to your target audience. Once you’ve identified who your target audience is, you’ll have a better understanding of what press you can land and which reporter will be interested in your product.

2. Get straight to the point.

To put this more matter-of-factly, your PR pitch is not your sales pitch. When it comes to pitching your product to the press, less is more in terms of the language and facts you use to communicate your product.

It is important to keep in mind what your core messages are and not dwell on unnecessary details. This rings true for any press materials or thought leadership pieces you send to media. Clear and concise content will get to the point faster. A journalist will appreciate a couple of succinct sentences more than having to pick out the important facts hidden in a two-page press release.

3. Quality and quantity differs based on the vertical.

Depending upon which industry your product or service is in, there is a different set of standards for what is considered a top-tier publication. More specifically, a top-tier publication for a startup in the health sector may be entirely different than a startup in the travel space. Aiming for a certain number of publications and their value will be solely dependent upon the goals your company has for an announcement, as well as your target audience.

4. Know your news value.

As discussed earlier, the U.S. is faced with crowded news cycles and agendas. Editorial calendars are usually planned months in advance and only high-quality news can break through that planned agenda. When you’re prepping for an announcement, it’s important to remember that more pressing news will always take priority.

To help set your own expectations for coverage, it’s important to keep in mind what value your news will bring to the current cycle and understand which publications will be interested in your news. Top-tier publications are highly selective and will always have a longer lead time.

5. Bring something new to the table.

Journalists are always looking for interesting news stories and particularly ones that can provide insights on a topic area that hasn’t been covered. Delving into your company’s data or uncovering a new trend you’re noticing in your industry will be a highly valuable resource for a reporter.

In order to become newsworthy, be prepared to reach into some of the untapped areas of your business to see what expert commentary you can provide to a larger news trend.

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