Press releases have long been a traditional way to reach out to reporters and editors. Today, you may have more success by pitching your story to the press through email contact. These can be directed toward blogs and publications that cater to your target audience. Contacting members of the press this way may get you an interview – a terrific, free way to get exposure, and even lead readers to your website to find out more information about you and your work.
Help a Reporter
HelpAReporter.com (HARO) is a popular website where reporters and sources connect. Sign up to become a source, and you will receive regular emails listing queries from reporters who may be looking for someone just like you to be a part of a story they are writing for their blog or publication. When you find a query that really fits your story, feel free to pitch the reporter. If accepted, you will hear from them to pursue your input for their article.
Any pitch that you make to a HARO query should use the subject line required (if stated) and instructions followed. Reporters get many pitches, and yours could be easily overlooked or discarded.
Most importantly, personalize your pitch to the particular story that the reporter is working on (they usually find it annoying to get generic response from a source, causing them to ignore you.) Put in the extra effort to mention how your story or your angle fits in with their particular needs. And don’t forget to include full contact information including email, phone number, and your website.
Would you like to reach out to publications that cater to your target customer for inclusion in an article or to be interviewed? After identifying them, go to their website and search for their editorial calendar. This may be under the Advertising section, since many companies want to match their ads with stories which dovetail with their products or services.
An editorial calendar lists upcoming stories for the publication, and the approximate dates. Larger publications work many months ahead of time, so you must be prepared for this. Check to see where your work might fit into an article, and contact the reporter who will be working on that story. You may be able to obtain their email address on the site, or click on the
Contact Us link. Or, call that media outlet to find out the name of the appropriate person for submission of your information.
Always customize any email pitch that you send to a reporter. Be prepared to tell them why you are newsworthy. Why should the reporter write an article about you? Don’t include any attachments to your email (it could end up in a spam folder), but include your website URL so that they can take a look at your body of work.
Make your email concise and to the point, including a direct subject line that tells them what you are pitching. A couple of paragraphs in the body of your message should suffice.
It can be advantageous to connect with reporters on social media and get to know them and their style of writing. Sharing and commenting on their stories may also help you to be noticed, and followed. You may be able to directly connect, so that you are somewhat familiar to them when you write that email pitch.
And when you are contacted to do an interview? Be prepare with “talking points,” (at least half a dozen) and use stories, statistics, and other information to back up your points.
Answer each question as completely as possible. Think of some good “quotes” you can include as well. During your interview, be positive and confident, with interesting anecdotes ready if asked. If the publication is local, you may also want to tie your hometown connection into your interview.
Want to know more about getting publicity for your art or craft work? The Arts Business Institute recently launched our comprehensive E-course “Marketing for Artists & Craftspeople,” which is self-paced and interactive.