Which News Media Should You Use To Gain Maximum Exposure?

Not every piece of news you come up with will be suitable for every news medium, and in many cases, the success of your pitch to media will be dependent on whether the story suits the type of outlet you are pitching it to.

Obviously, it goes without saying that your story needs to be relevant to the journalist, publication or section you pitch it to. This goes for location and for area of interest.

For example, a news story about a new store opening in Chicago won’t be immediately relevant to a newspaper in California. And it makes sense that you would not pitch it to a Californian newspaper anyway, because the target audience (ie, potential customers for the store) will be local to it, and not living in California, therefore it makes sense you would pitch it to a local newspaper.

Similarly, if your beauty business has found a new revolutionary anti-aging solution, the motoring reporter for your local newspaper is not likely to find this story relevant and neither will its readers.

The Exception To The Rule

With most things in life, there is always going to be an exception to the rule. It may be important that you appeal to an audience interstate for your new store in Chicago, for example, to demonstrate the expanse of your brand across the country, or because you plan to open in California shortly. Here are some tips to help offer some relevance to mediums that are outside of the immediate geographical or topical area of relevance.

  • If the issue is geographical, firstly examine your reasons for pitching the story to a news outlet that is a physical distance away from you or your business. You must be convinced that you have a genuine audience in these locations (and you have done some research into this – not just pulled that locality out of a hat).
  • In order to pitch successfully, you must come up with an angle that is directly relevant to that locality. Perhaps you were born or grew up there, or maybe a key member in your team did? Maybe your business is going to directly solve a problem that is key to that locality and it is easily accessible to them? Do you already have a presence in that location or do you have concrete plans to set up one in the future?
  • If the issue is not directly relevant from a topical basis, you will need to find a way to convert your story to the outlet’s style and/or areas of interest.For example, you would create a story around your business success (maybe make it relevant to surviving the GFC) for a business-oriented outlet or section. If the section is more human interest, you might use a case study of a happy client to pitch the story – how your product or service changed their life. If the section or outlet is information based, then create a how-to list that will be directly relevant to the audience.
  • Again, make sure you have a reason for pitching to an outlet or section that is outside of your direct relevancy. Just because it is there and people access it is not a good enough reason. If the audience is not likely to buy from you or be interested, you are simply wasting your time, and that of the journalist, who has to sift through reams of useless information sent to him/her on a daily basis.

The Visual and Audio Mediums

There is nothing more exhilarating than seeing yourself on TV or achieving an interview on radio. Imagine being offered a spot on a morning TV show or talk-back radio! While seemingly obvious, it’s amazing how many people are tripped up by this next fact: TV requires visuals and radio is going to require audio.

Unless you are a well known personality already, it is very seldom you will be able to get away with a mention by the presenter without making some sort of appearance yourself, either directly or indirectly. If you are determined you do not want to appear on TV or speak on radio (and there is no other relevant senior member of your business who can), then you are wasting your time pitching to these sort of outlets.

Before approaching radio and TV, consider what news you have to share very carefully. The relevancy rules above still apply, but because we have the added audio/visual components, other factors come into play.

For TV:

  • Does your story have a visual aspect, or could you create one? An event or demonstration is perfect, as is an interesting interview with yourself or someone else relevant to the story that you could offer as talent.
  • Are you within reasonable proximity to the program/station or a supplier to them so that they can capture footage? Can you attend an interview in a studio at the other side of the country on a specified day and time?

For radio:

  • Does your story translate to radio? If it is very visual, for example, a physical demonstration, it may not be appropriate, or you may need to be creative to allow it to be.
  • Are you going to be available to be interviewed in a quiet place over the phone on the subject? Bear in mind that breakfast radio and news will require a very early morning wake-up call that you need to be ready for at the specified time.
  • If required, are you able to attend a radio studio for the interview, with any other talent as required?

If you are serious about obtaining exposure via any news medium, the reality is that you are going to need to comply to their terms and conditions.

You will need to make yourself available at the time and location the journalist specifies, for photos and interviews, and be prepared to talk on any topic around the news angle (be prepared for curve balls!). If they ask for photos and/or additional information, provide it without hesitation or do your best to obtain it. Remember, they are working to tight deadlines and will need your full co-operation. But the rewards can be very handsome, so it’s all definitely worth the effort!

Kerry McDuling

About Kerry McDuling

Kerry McDuling is a publicist and Director of her own public relations and publicity consultancy McDuling PR and exposure speciality business, Stratosphere Me – building brands and developing profitable business opportunities for companies, authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs.

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22 Comments

  • Excellent post with great voice. Media exposure is very critical to usiness growth,
    but we must approach it in a creative way. It’s not all about getting your product
    across, it’s about understanding the concept behind marketing.

    These people (target audience) are humans, with blood running through their veins.
    A lot goes inside their head when they are going through your ad, letters and
    what have you, we must position our brands and STAND OUT from conventional
    media advertising.

    I have learnt so much from this – I’m glad I subscribed to get notified first.
    what a blessed day for me. You know why? I’m currently preparing a product
    on media FOCUS and this post, is all I need to complete my 3rd chapter.

    • Hi Michael, and your post has made MY day! Thank you so much! Please stay in touch and let me know when your product is completed. x

  • I am a beginner wilth blogging and all and hearing from those in the know its worthwhile, i suppose where I am at i have no idea which medium to use to propel my efforts of blogging further, I suppose overtime i will know. thanks for the advise

    • You definitely will!

      Just keep following useful blogs that this one until you have enough experience to have your first successful blog.

      As everybody else will tell you, the two most important things are to pick a good topic and to stick with it and keep building links.

      BTW great post, goes in depth and I feel like I learned a lot from this one!

    • You are more than welome.

  • Kerry -

    These are some great insights, thank you! Deciding which news media to go with can be tricky, but with the advice you laid out here it doesn’t seem like it’s so hard after all. Thanks again ;)

    Laurie

  • I have used some of the press release blasting services. They promise exposer to tens of thousands of journalists. All of my news were of national importance. So far, I wasn’t able to get any attention. Is there a good method to use these blasting services, or should I stay away?

    • Thanks for your message. I myself have wondered about the effectiveness of those press release blasting services. I contact all media outlets personally, so don’t have experience using the service. I would always suggest building a personal relationship with journalists yourself. Sorry to hear that your news of national importance was not picked up. But don’t give up! Contact me personally if you would like further tips. Kerry@mcdulingpr.com.au

  • really good insights on how to gain good exposure, thanks for this kerry.

  • that’s a very informative post and useful tips revealing some great points about the effective usage of media for exposure.

  • Nice! Loving the breakdown. We’re moving into more traditional marketing so this will certainly help. Thanks.

  • Kerry, I’ve always loved radio because it’s never gone out of fashion, has mass local loyalty following as well as national exposure, and because it’s a captive audience who may be listening stuck in a traffic jam, working at home, etc so they tend to stay around longer. But the main reason is when you talk with no other stimuli like images or colours to focus on, those listening really do take in your message. It’s always brought forth fruit for me.

    • Thanks for the contribution John. I agree with you. Did you find it relatively easy each time to get a spot on radio? what was the process you used?

  • Hello Kerry,

    ‘Those are exactly some of the things
    I have been thinking about lately….,’

    For example wondering how I could ever communicate my incredibly unpractical
    blog names, for example my Main Blogspot is called: ‘hpshappy.blogspot.com’
    Since my initials are H.P. at the time I thought it would be a nice idea to create a blog named: HP’s Happy Blogspot. only as a domain name it’s extremely unpractical to have - ‘s - that way with an apostrophe that way without the apostrophe making it: hpshappy.blogspot or for my - Home Business Lifestyle Blog – : hpshappyhomebusiness.blogspot.com all not exactly easy to instantly explain in a Radio Interview or a Podcast…!.

    So because of that as a ‘Patch’ I did create a ‘Re-direct Blog’
    HP – Dash – Vision – Dot – Blogspot -Dot.com,

    Still not really Brilliant to communicate for Radio, but I do think slightly better.
    Also every dis-advantage has it’s advantage and because of
    this communication challenge you now know about my Blog!

    Anyway,

    When you happen to be interviewed on Radio or are in Podcasts, one of these day’s make sure to mention my Blog, because now you know :)

    All the Best,
    To your Happy - Home Business - Inspiration,
    HP

  • Being seen on tv is one of the best moments of an entrepreneur who is just starting out. Some call it 15 minutes of fame but it is like 15 minutes of heaven. Thanks for this article Kerry! :)

  • It is actually hard to find some exposure. Thanks for the nice post Kerry.

  • thanks! tha’s a nice post. the reasoning is really important part.

  • Hey there Kerry, I’m glad I came across this post when I did. I’m just about to approach a local paper in Western Sydney. Would you like to know how I go? :)

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