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You’re press-worthy. How do you feel when you read that? If your initial reaction is to shrink back and question it, you’re certainly not alone.
Many companies (especially small to midsize companies) question if their story is really worth media coverage — and this is the biggest thing holding them back from that coverage.
Because they don’t truly feel worthy of press, they don’t reach out to the media, or they give up after a few pitches go unanswered. Or, they try PR for a few months off and on but never commit to it fully enough to develop an effective long-term strategy for their company’s visibility. They act as though a journalist would be doing them a favor by featuring them rather than realizing the value they can offer by contributing to that journalist’s content.
The truth is, these companies are — and you are — worthy of incredible, widespread press. And once you truly embrace that, how you show up for the media will dramatically change.
Thousands of experts are interviewed every single day, not because they have a magic secret for getting press but because they do two simple things: showcase their expertise and tell an unforgettable story.
Speak to a journalist, and you’ll realize they’re not looking for someone with thousands of social media followers or award-winning books. They just want someone to share serviceable expert tips or tell a good story because those two things are of the highest value to their readers.
Here’s the good news: Expertise and a good story are two things practically every business owner has.
How to pinpoint your expertise and story
You are an industry insider for your niche — and your knowledge is extremely valuable to journalists and their audiences.
Think about the questions customers ask you most often: How do you answer them, and what knowledge do you share? What unique perspective do you have? What industry trends have you noticed, either anecdotally or through your collected data? This becomes your high-value expertise. Through the media, readers and viewers can learn directly from an insider pro (that’s you!).
Your expertise provides an immense amount of value for them and credibility for your brand. It also makes that audience more likely to turn to you when they have a usage occasion for your product or service.
There’s also a special story about how you got to where you are now. You may not know what it is yet, but you don’t have to write it from scratch. You simply have to uncover it.
Start by telling your story frequently to your customers, friends and family. Pay attention to what makes their eyes glisten, and their ears perk up. Usually, these are elements of your journey you haven’t thought much about — but that stands out to others. This is what you should lean into when sharing your background with the media.
Because journalists are looking to educate and tell a good story, they’re grateful when they find sources who can help them do that.
Being ready for press vs. being worthy of press
Almost every company is worthy of the press, but not all companies are ready for the press.
Being ready for press involves having the budget for a long-term media strategy that can grow over time, creating a collection of branded photography to share with the media and updating your website so it’s ready for journalists (say, by having up-to-date Press Room and About pages).
Once you’ve honed in on why you’re worthy of press, make sure you have these “ready for press” elements prepared to increase your chances of landing coverage.
Three ways to show up for the media
1. Make your story and expertise ultra-visible. Upon skimming your company’s website or social media channels briefly, it should be immediately clear what knowledge you can share and what makes your mission and story unique. Work on polishing this until it’s concise and easy to grasp — and avoid long, winding narratives. Make sure your story is present in messaging and visuals on your homepage, About page and Press Room page.
2. Start sharing your story and expertise on your owned channels. Even if journalists aren’t knocking on your door quite yet, you still have the opportunity to share what they’re looking for (and catch their attention in doing so!). Use your social media platforms as an opportunity to be a thought leader and share your story and expertise there consistently.
Plus, key players in your company should be prepared to share content on their personal accounts as well. CEOs and other executives have a powerful opportunity to leverage social media to share expertise and tell your brand story to your clients, customers and employees. In doing so, they position themselves as valuable media spokespeople.
3. Set up a profile on Qwoted and actively use it. Qwoted.com has a free offering that allows you to set up a profile as an expert and pitch to relevant news outlets. Just like setting up a press page on your website, this is an impactful way to show that you’re ready for press (and worthy of it!).