When we scored an interview with Fox News for one of our clients last week that went global, I was both thrilled for the client, and also reminded once again of what it takes to achieve success in the publicity world.
Many elements go into every campaign, but I think the following two factors are critical:
- The value of your content.
- Your credentials.
You can write a wonderful attention-grabbing pitch to the media, but it will do little good if reporters determine there’s no reason anyone should listen to you because your credentials don’t support your expertise.
At the same time, the media might never get around to examining your credentials if your pitch rambles, is boring or doesn’t provide enough value for their audience.
But when you pair quality content with strong credentials – well, that’s when the opportunity for PR magic happens, and that’s what our client went through last week. In a matter of hours, he went from experiencing a relatively ordinary day to making a big media splash.
And he loved the adrenaline rush that was part of it!
Here’s how it played out:
We routinely craft newspaper-style articles for our clients that focus on a problem and introduce the client as an expert who provides solutions to that problem. We did that for this client, identifying a newsworthy angle that tied to his message, and then making sure the article got into the email inboxes of appropriate reporters and editors.
One hour after we distributed the article, an email from a Fox News reporter arrived. The reporter was working on an article that she felt our client had the credentials to weigh in on, and she had questions for him.
But, as is often the case with top-tier media, time was of the essence. The reporter needed the answers in just over an hour. We had to act quickly. So did our client if he wanted to be part of the article!
When we phoned him, he had his keys in his hand and was walking out the door, on his way to a meeting. He didn’t hesitate, though. Fortunately, he understood the importance of responding to the journalist’s request.
“I will go back into my office and get to work on my answers right now,” he said.
Within 40 minutes, he produced well thought out and clearly defined answers to the questions, and we shipped them off to the no-doubt appreciative reporter who finished the article, which within hours was posted on the Fox News website.
We were excited at this quick-turnaround success.
Then it just got better. Reuters, Yahoo News, the Hill and other news sites picked up the Fox News article, giving our client even greater exposure. Meanwhile, our client also went international. The article appeared in China and was also picked up by World News Network, which has a global reach. In addition, publications in France and Bahrain printed the original article that we produced in-house!
As you can imagine, our client was stoked and so were we!
The time he took to write those thought-provoking answers, combined with his great credentials, paid off big. Yet, beyond those two critical factors, I think there are two additional factors that are key for anyone who’s hoping to score big in the media:
- Responsiveness is critical.This reporter didn’t just need information – she needed it quickly, which is the norm for journalists working on a daily deadline. Much to our client’s credit, he wasted no time. Remember, he was on his way to a meeting. Had he balked and said he didn’t have time, the reporter would have found another expert to answer her questions – and that person would have had the golden opportunity instead.
- You can build relationships with the media.Journalists are appreciative when you understand their needs and act professionally in helping them out, as our client did. He took the time to provide the reporter what she was looking for and did it in a timely manner. That journalist now knows our client is someone she can count on if she’s working on another article that fits his expertise.
What’s even more exciting to me is when this client came to us he had no media exposure whatsoever. Now, he’s built up a valuable media footprint from this effort, which will give him even more credibility in the eyes of the media, allowing us to generate even more national media coverage for him.
So, when people ask me what it takes for a publicity campaign to be successful, these four factors are the very things I share with them.
P.S. If you want professional advice on getting the most out of your publicity efforts, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 0.