Publicity success does not rely you having media contacts on speed dial. But it does rely on you identifying those media contacts most interested in your story.
Remember, you are seeking free publicity to attract more customers to your business.
Step One. Understand which media your ideal customer reads, listens to or watches. Start listing appropriate media and see who is covering topics relating to your industry or start a hit list of where you’d like to get covered. So if there’s a particular show, or magazine, you need to do some analysis. You are probably already reading magazines and watching TV, so make those hours work for you.
Step Two. Immerse yourself in your target media. Go to their website and dig out contact details. In my experience, successful media relations are 98% preparation and 2% execution. Find the appropriate reporter, producer or editor for your story pitch. Then call the media outlet’s main number and make sure the reporter is still there (they move around a lot). If not, ask who his/her replacement is and get the appropriate contact info (name, telephone number and e-mail address).
Step Three. Research the reporter. Read past stories, and check out their contact preferences. The contact preferences may include how they like to be contacted (phone or e-mail, for example) and when they like to be contacted (before 2 p.m., Monday-Wednesday). I’ll usually always heed the “when they like to be contacted” part, but I almost always call them, even if they say they don’t prefer it, because it is part of my successful pitching process.