By: Kate Shapiro, SVP Operations
The global cybersecurity industry is projected to reach $248.26 billion by 2023. Business is booming! But this projection also indicates a crowded marketplace. One of the best ways to rise above the noise of competitive solutions and services is to build credibility by earning media coverage. You might be thinking, “how do I grab the attention of the right reporters?” The answer is, by knowing what they need for their audience and making their job more streamlined.
Emphasizing Relations in Public Relations
If you understand what drives reporters, and can help them achieve their goals, you can cultivate meaningful relationships with them and take a lot of guesswork out of the process when trying to earn inclusion in an article or story. Ultimately, this will boost your chances of being included in an article.
Constrained by Quotas
For the most part, all good reporters and writers are dedicated to telling meaningful, truthful stories to their readers. However, that hardly tells the whole story. Most reporters are under some type of quota. They owe their editors or publication a target number of pieces every day, week or month. This number is normally divided up in different ways, from longer investigative or feature work to shorter takeaways and news briefs. There is incredible pressure for reporters to reach their goals.
Metrics as Motivation
The move of most publications to the web as either a compliment to print or as the sole component of a modern magazine has made digital metrics a major motivation. Because everything online can be counted and tracked, reporters are also judged by how many readers their stories capture, and even more recently, how many shares or likes those stories get on social media.
Reporters get a lot of news every day from many sources. Chances are, you’re not the only one approaching them with commentary for their topic. Having the pick of the lot allows them to immediately delete poorly crafted pitches and irrelevant press releases from their cluttered inboxes.
3 Steps for Grabbing a Reporter’s Attention
Now that you understand the pressures burdening the people you need in your corner, you can step up your game plan for gaining more news coverage.
Step 1: Craft a compelling hook.
Readers likely won’t care that you recently implemented version 11.3.5 of your signature product, so neither will most reporters. But they might care if you tie your company news into a bigger trend or story. Perhaps that new feature can defeat a certain type of attack that is ravaging the industry that the reporter is covering.
“The more you can show the reporter, using specific examples, that you understand the issues and trends they cover, the better chance you have of serious consideration,” shares Wayne Schepens, Managing Director at LaunchTech. “This is true for an in-person or over-the-phone pitch, and for a press release.”
Step 2: Provide solid quotes (and avoid self-serving).
Especially with press releases, you should have at least a few quotes that reporters can use. Most won’t use a press release verbatim. Instead, they’ll rewrite it to fit their own narrative. But they will use quotes directly. Your quotes should follow the same rule as the pitch itself; they should talk about the issues and trends of the overall community. Avoid self-serving quotes at all costs. If possible, quotes from clients or recognized government representatives will get you serious bonus points.
Step 3: Be willing to go the extra mile.
Make it known that you’re willing to talk about the topics beyond just the quotes you’ve included. Part of this step involves having company leadership prepared to chat within a reporter’s tight deadline. Being able to hop on a quick phone call to further elaborate on your comments will earn you brownie points.
When you talk about the issues and trends that are relevant to the reporter and their readers, your company will get the coverage it desires. You’ll be recognized as a thought leader in your industry over time. If you consistently pitch strong comments, quotes, and stories, it won’t be long before reporters start coming to you on their own accord.