Saturday, June 27, 2009

Easy Breezy Summer Coverage

This summer has been pretty quiet so far in terms of hard-news. There has been an occasional scandal and some stories about international affairs, but all-in-all the majority of news space has been spent covering the economic crisis. The media can only run so many stories about the economy, which means that there is a lot of print space and air time up for the taking.

As Richard Laermer of the Bad Pitch Blog points out, "more space means plenty of opportunities for coverage in daily papers, on network affiliates, and in trade, consumer and business magazines"--and virtually every other medium!

Here are some tips from Laermer on the Bad Pitch Blog for making sure you score some of that space for your clients:
  1. Make it timely- Remember that it's summertime! Laermer reminds us to "tie your pitch to something in the here and now."
  2. Work the holidays- Make yourself "available on the holiday weekends- 4th of July and Labor Day- when producers have a tough time finding guests" because a lot of their staff (or your competitors, for that matter) are on vacation.
  3. Think smallish- Laermer explains "Coverage in smaller markets or smaller-circulation publications can be just as effective in achieving business objectives." He also reminds us that getting coverage in larger, more key markets can be easy if a "local summer angle" is utilized.
  4. Present company- "If you haven't submitted products to relevant holiday gift guides, get going!" These publications tend to have long-lead deadlines.
  5. Agency review- "If you're not getting the coverage you merit- or, if you're not seeing a clear return on your PR investment- summer is the time for the ole agency review." Laermer suggests making a list of five companies and simply asking them what they could do for you. "Compare this to what you have now," he says, "Even if you stick with the old firm, it's good to hear new thinking."
My own tip:
Use the economic state to your advantage- although everyone is tired of hearing about the economy, we are all feeling the economic strain. Find a way to tie your pitch- and your product- to the economy in addition to tying it into the summer season.

Have you noticed that it is easier to get coverage this summer? What strategies have you been using to cash in on the available news space?

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