The Right Way to Get a Press Coverage


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There’s an old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity (except, perhaps, your own obituary), but if you’ve watched a Twitter hashtag go down in flames recently, you know that’s not actually true. The worst thing, however, has to be no press at all.

Many new businesses find themselves in the awkward position of sending out hundreds of press releases, and getting no response at all. If this is you, what might you be doing wrong? Let’s chat.

Did you tell a story?
Marketing is about stories, and unfortunately, “This pill will fix everything that ails you” isn’t a story; it’s an advertisement. Journalists aren’t marketers, and they generally resent being put in the position of marketers.

Instead of touting all the benefits of your product or selling your boring idea, use it to tell a story. Talk about how a customer’s life was changed by your product, or how you woke up one morning with a problem, and you were the perfect person to solve it.

Did you make it relatable?
When journalists tell stories, they generally want their audience to be a part of the story. Whether it’s about feeling deeply sympathetic, invested, or excited by what’s unfolding in the narrative, the best stories provoke involvement. Writing about your product that destroys bug infestations is boring. Talking about how you donated your product to homes that were affected after a natural disaster is human interest, and sells you in a positive light.

Did you dispense with the B.S.?
And no, we’re not talking about your Bachelor of Science degree. Journalists (and marketers, for that matter) are walking B.S. detectors. They know when they’re being gamed; just don’t try. You won’t succeed, and they’ll remember that you tried, and hold it against you forever.

Were you weird?
At every single party, doctors put up with people saying “I have this weird pain, odd mole, or strange cough.” At every single party, journalists put up with people saying “You should write about this!” They don’t want to hear about yet another start up business that has succeeded. Tell them what is interesting about your story, what will keep readers reading another inch.

Did you help them out?
Every time a journalist pitches a story to their editor, their editor will ask them: “Why this story? Why now?” Because the truth is, there are a million more stories out there than all the journalists ever could manage to write about. If you want great press coverage, work with journalists, instead of against them. Be patient; do not spam them with your links and endless story ideas.

If you want to get great press coverage, here are some options you can try:

• Do you have a product? Offer to let a journalist demo it, or even better, get them involved in your donating the product to someone who is disadvantaged in some way, who will be served by the product. If your company is upgrading its hardware, for example, take the opportunity to donate last year’s model to a local school, and set up coverage with a journalist.

• Is there a particular event that you can center coverage around? Is your business celebrating an anniversary, or is there an upcoming event that you’re sponsoring? Lead with the reason that is happening.

• Show that you’re making a difference. Lots of companies say that they’re changing up the game, but are really just another layer of the status quo. Show journalists that you’re really and truly up to something different, and they’re likely to be much more interested.

In short, don’t be afraid to try something new and different, but also understand that these guidelines exist for a reason. The tactics that get you noticed at your trade show or on social media aren’t the same tactics that get journalists intrigued. Know your audience, and pitch appropriately.

Finally, there are some brands out there that seem to focus their attention on knocking down the competition and trashing other companies. It is possible to get ahead doing this, but generally it doesn’t last for long. If you’re not selling something on your own, it’s only a matter of time before the sharks you’ve gathered in the water, drawn to your negativity, turn on you.

Start by focusing on positive developments, and avoid being the eventual chum.

What tips and tricks have helped you get great press coverage? Let us know down below!

Margarita Hakobyan
CEO and founder of, an online marketplace of local moving companies and storage facilities. Business women, wife and mother of two with bachelor's degree from the University of Utah with a concentration in International Studies and a Masters Degree also from the University of Utah with a degree in International business.



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