7-Step Media Magnet Coverage Success Checklist

As a business owner, I understand how important (and yet difficult) it is to acquire customers and investors’ trust for our own brand. The media is 1 highly powerful way to acquire this trust. This checklist is your proven guide to generating huge media hits… giving you a consistent flow of top media features at no cost!

7-Step Media Magnet Coverage Success Checklist
7-Step Media Magnet Coverage Success Checklist

Content Summary

Understand your brand’s value proposition and articulate it clearly in 2 lines
Develop Killer Headlines to capture journalists’ attention
Write a highly compelling First Paragraph to ‘Wow’ journalists
Let your pitch content show the HUGE value the industry gets from your firm (No hard selling!)
Figure out the top 3 media titles relevant to your target audience (besides The Straits Times and the other ‘big boys’)
Shortlist the most relevant journalists in your industry to email
Ace your interview with journalists: get key stories across and keeping it highly positive

Understand your brand’s value proposition and articulate it clearly in 2 lines

Firstly, you have to understand your brand’s top value proposition.

I know it sounds very basic but you will be surprised in speaking to more than 1000 business people, more than half can’t articulate their brand well.

Be very clear on what you’re offering that your market perceives as the most attractive.

Then you need to voice that proposition out in 2 lines; it has to capture the attention of a journalist within 20 words, in 20 seconds.

If you thought that capturing the attention of your customers or investors was hard… it’s even harder to get journalists to take note of your business.

Why I emphasize on the importance of the value proposition: You NEED it to create your media pitch’s headline and email content.

If the media cannot catch what you stand for in that initial pitch, they will not give your pitch a chance at all.

They have an extremely short attention span in their line of work, so great articulation of your Value Proposition is a necessity.

Your value proposition should:

  1. Explain how your product/service solves customers’ problems
  2. Showcases a specific benefit
  3. Let your customer know why they should buy from you, not your competitor

Check out these great value propositions that are easy to articulate:

  • “Send Better Email” – Mailchimp
  • “A few (millions) of your favourite things.” – Pinterest
  • “Skype keeps the world talking, for free. Share, message and call – now with group video on mobile and tablet too.” – Skype
  • “Tap the app, get a ride.” – Uber
  • “A pair of X-ray glasses that lets you see exactly what people are doing on y our website.” – CrazyEgg

Develop Killer Headlines to capture journalists’ attention

Journalists are reading hundreds of headlines every single day, sent from all kinds of agencies, companies and individuals clamouring to grab their attention.

No matter how impressive your email content may be, all that effort is lost if the journalist simply rolls past your unimpressive headline; to read some other day, or not read it at all.

Reality check: Journalists do pass over 90% of emails without giving a chance to your email content.

That’s why your headline needs to STAND OUT FROM HUNDREDS.

Your headline has to sound very exciting and very legit, but absolutely not come off sounding scammy.

Here are some great headlines we’ve selected that your company can use as a g ood media reference:

  • “ These S’porean Millennials Invested $100K To Create Energy Drinks – Sells Over 3,000 Bottles/Month”
  • “S’pore Startup Strikes Gold With Durian Moonc akes – Clinches S$1M Funding Fr om Thai Express Founder”
  • “ This S’porean Brand Lets You Fully Customise Your Sneakers, And Is Endor sed By K-Pop’s Biggest Stars”
  • “These 2 S’pore Millennials Started Up A ‘ Grab For Hauliers’ – Lets B2B Customers Set The Prices”

Write a highly compelling First Paragraph to ‘Wow’ journalists

Once you have secured the journalist’s attention with your killer headline… they open your email… the next step is to make sure the journalist reads THROUGH the first paragraph of your email.

Your first paragraph needs to keep their attention on you, otherwise journalists will close your email straight away (You will be surprised how many journalists close the email after the 1st line.)

It needs to show story tension; and one good idea is to portray your company as the protagonist, solving an interesting & important issue (the antagonist) for your industry.

Remember, the first paragraph has to keep their attention focused on you. This attention gets journalists thinking about getting an interview with you to write your brand story.

Let your pitch content show the HUGE value the industry gets from your firm (No hard selling!)

Here’s the cold hard truth we’ve learnt from over 10 years of PR experience, from both sides of the table: Journalists don’t care about your brand.

They care about the value that your brand brings to the table.

In your pitch, you have to show very clear values that your brand provides to your industry.

If you don’t, there is no reason for journalists to care about you, or your brand. They won’t come to you for a story.

Focus on the HUGE value that you bring, don’t bank on har d-selling.

Figure out the top 3 media titles relevant to your target audience (besides The Straits Times and the other ‘big boys’)

A common misconception that many small business owners have:

It’s your business’s best interest to prioritise media hits in the ‘big boys’ (Straits Times, Business Times, Channel News Asia, etc.)

Unfortunately, that’s often very one dimensional.

There are so many alternative media titles out there, which are highly relevant to small businesses.

In fact, these highly relevant media titles can be more powerful than the ‘big boys’, because your target audiences are paying much more attention to these ‘smaller’ media titles.

Right now, are you aware of at least 2-3 non-traditional media that are highly relevant for your market?

Some examples of highly relevant media titles for specific companies we’ve handpicked because it created as much hype for them as a media “big boy”:

  • MTV Asia, AsiaOne – HallyuPopFest 2018 (Kpop event)
  • Buro247, NUYOU – Style Theory (Clothing Rental Platform)
  • The Peak Magazine, Men’s Folio – Singapore Watch Club (Watch Interest Community)
  • LadyIronChef, Seth Lui, Weekender – Minions Cafe (F&B)

Shortlist the most relevant journalists in your industry to email

Besides knowing your brand’s most relevant media titles, you have to pitch to the right journalists.

Your brand story isn’t interesting at all to the wrong journalists, and they will skip out on your story (In fact it irritates journalists who are in the wrong industry, who may bad-mouth you to the right journalist).

Don’t pitch your F&B story to a technology journalist.

Don’t pitch to the general editorial staff either.

You have to streamline the journalists that you’re reaching out to.

Having a list of specific journalists allows you to reach out to them with a personalised message that gives you the highest chance to succeed in securing a media interview.

Publication websites, social media profiles & in person events are just some of the great ways that you can nail down your target journalists (Who are most likely to write your brand story!)

Ace your interview with journalists: get key stories across and keeping it highly positive

Finally, when you’ve secured your interview with a journalist… here’s our advice during the interview itself:

Present your key messages to the journalist during the interview, don’t present your life story.

Be aware of how to make your brand story very intriguing.

Maintain a proper professional etiquette.

Essentially, many journalists are jaded professionals that have met up with thousands of people for interviews, many of whom ha ve no idea ho w to present their brand.

Timing is key: The first few minutes of the interview are the most important.

If you mess up your pitch, if your pitch sounds too boring, or you have no idea how to present; you lose your chance to impress your journalist.

You may have secured the interview, but the journalist may never want to meet you again; and your story may not get published.

However, if the journalist finds you a professional and credible person, they will want to meet you again and again for follow-up media stories.

That’s going to work wonders for your media hits.

Repeat this process – Get your small business brand amplified in the media, over and over again.

Source: Jeremy Foo, Prospr