All Articles Marketing Public Relations Tips for getting featured: Unlock the door to top-tier media exposure

Tips for getting featured: Unlock the door to top-tier media exposure

Gaining exposure in top-tier media outlets requires pitching relevant topics in a timely manner. By providing value for journalists and reporters at these publications, businesses can expand their reach to global audiences.

5 min read

MarketingPublic Relations

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Enhanced brand awareness, increased sales, improved customer perception and greater investor confidence are all things businesses strive for. They are also all things that can be achieved by unlocking the door to top-tier media exposure.

Top-tier outlets like Forbes, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal have earned the respect of a global audience. The businesses they highlight or tap for expert insights are considered reliable and respected industry leaders, so much so that even a single appearance in a top-tier outlet can boost brand credibility and drive tangible business growth.

However, the competition for being featured, quoted, or interviewed in top-tier spots is fierce. Countless businesses pitch themselves to top-tier outlets daily, but only a select few make it through. To make the cut, businesses must develop a standout pitch communicating media value.

As an account strategist for one of the world’s leading public relations firms, I’ve helped many clients achieve top-tier exposure. The following are some tips I have found most effective for successfully pitching to top-tier outlets.

Ride the wave of trending news

Top-tier outlets are focused on providing comprehensive coverage of trending news, so if you can add to that coverage, you dramatically improve your chances of appearing in them. Consequently, pitches should focus on trending topics and highlight the unique insights you can bring to the unfolding discussion.

This approach may require a perspective shift, as most business leaders want to talk about their business and its offerings rather than trending news topics. While this is understandable, it is extremely limiting in terms of the value it offers to top-tier publications and their readers.

By leveraging their expertise to address trending topics, business leaders can access top-tier outlets and build their reputation as thought leaders in their field. When news outlets are focused on a recent data breach, for example, a CEO from a cybersecurity software company can share steps businesses should take to understand their security vulnerabilities and contain damage once a breach occurs. Although this won’t directly promote the company’s products or services, it will help position the company with a high level of expertise that the world’s leading news outlets trust.

Align your pitch with the outlet’s audience

In addition to focusing on trending news, pitches should also focus on angling insights in a way that will be helpful to the outlet’s target audience. If the outlet is focused on financial news, such as The Financial Times, the pitch should offer something valuable to an audience seeking financial insights. Similarly, if the outlet targets upper-level business leaders, such as Forbes, the pitch should highlight insights that appeal to the C-suite. If it’s a tech outlet like TechCrunch, pitches that provide a technology slant will stand out.

Considering the focus of a particular media contact is also essential when delivering a pitch. If a contact reports on a particular niche, don’t send them a pitch irrelevant to that area. Aligning your pitches ensures you don’t waste a reporter’s time and will help keep any future pitches you send from being blocked or ignored.

Offer to provide whatever they need

Don’t expect every pitch to lead to exposure, even when you have worked hard to align and tie them to trending news. Reporters and editors get dozens of pitches daily, which is many more than they need, and the higher the tier, the more competition you’ll have.

Still, that doesn’t mean a rejection should be the end of the conversation. If a reporter reads your pitch and responds with a “thanks, but no thanks,” it’s a good sign they are looking for content. If you take the time to send a follow-up that asks what they need to add value to their reporting, you might find it is something you can provide.

Because I work with many clients, I can provide expert content on a wide range of topics and often respond to rejection with an offer to help with whatever current articles the reporter is developing. I have found that a rejection for one client can lead to a placement for another when responding this way.

Often, I don’t wait for a rejection to offer my help. I regularly reach out to media contacts to see if there is anything they are working on that they need help with. Investing your time in this way can open the door to great opportunities and can strengthen your relationship with media contacts, which might inspire them to bump your next pitch to the top of their stack.

Achieving top-tier media placements is not easy, but it is also not impossible. Take the time to track the latest news trends, understand what is relevant to the outlet and persistently offer your assistance. This will position you to achieve top-tier exposure and experience the wealth of benefits it can provide.


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