HWB enjoys unprecedented success in getting our clients great coverage in print thanks in part to the redeployment of our staff into those who client face and generate the press releases, tweets, blogs and those who distribute via our dedicated “newsroom”. But it’s never as simple as that. Here, head of the HWB newsroom, Nicole Chamberlin shares the secrets of her team’s success – and explains why HWB clients keep returning for more coverage.
How to clinch that coverage
Track journo’s covering your client’s industry
Sending to newsdesks won’t do. A simple topic search will quickly reveal the names of journalists who regularly cover a particular industry. Follow what they write and reference a recent article in your media pitch – by stroking their ego you’re far likelier to be noticed. Dig a little deeper by trawling through their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to identify their views and areas of interest to craft your pitch accordingly.
You have a far greater chance of success by offering your story as an exclusive. Rather than merely emailing your pitch, reveal your story angle on a call to the editor of your respective industry – then compose it in line with their suggestions.
Encourage clients to conduct local research
Journalists are starved of local statistics, having to rely heavily on global facts and findings to substantiate their stories. Supplying local research figures, will not only get you volumes of media coverage but also establish your client as a credible, well-respected, well-informed industry leader.
Whilst being credited as the sole purveyor of expert insight in an article is undoubtedly first prize for any business, the reality is that journalists prefer an unbiased story with multiple sources. Do the journalists work for them by including comments from competitors in your stories. Pitching a collaborative piece will help position your brand as a go-to source of industry insight.
Journalists do have their favourites – earned by providing reliable spokespersons for comment within their cut off time. If they know you they are likely to choose our story over another or contact you for industry comment more often. Ditch the email, pick up the phone – or even better – meet them face to face. This will undoubtedly get your stories more airtime and print space.
And in order to restore confidence we need to be willing to thoroughly review what has been done, acknowledge mistakes, think of compensation if needed, set new goals and implement the best possible strategy.
However, in order to achieve the above, we need to confront the fact that too many clients prefer to remain silent or tell half-truths- even to their strategists instead of taking the bold steps necessary to stand up for what is right.
Until they do, our businesses and institutions will remain the object of criticism rather than the subject of success.
About HWB Communications
HWB Communications is a South African strategic communications, marketing project management and public relations consultancy.
Communications Director & Newsroom Head Nicole Chamberlin is responsible for developing the company’s media strategies and for managing, writing and editing cross-media content across all channels (print, web, social media, app, newsletter etc.) for various industries and topics for over 14 clients.