Top tips on how to secure mainstream media coverage for your business

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  • Business
  • Media coverage
  • PR
So, you’re a bustling business with a proven track record of delivering for your customers and getting seen in all the sector press, when one day you ask your high-flying, super-cool, amazing PR agency (that’s us of course): “Hey, would it be possible for us to get into [insert mainstream media title here]?”

Sure, it would be possible. But now what? How are we going about that?

For those unfamiliar with getting cut-through in B2C media, it could not be more different than operating under a modus operandi of obtaining B2B coverage. While there are many similarities, it’s the differences that stand out the most.

From local outlets to national publications, from broadcast to print, the approach to garnering visibility in these titles and on these platforms undergoes a noticeable shift when transitioning between consumer-focused platforms and trade publications catering to specific industries.

Local outlets and national publications primarily focus on appealing to a wider audience demographic. Whether it’s heart warming anecdotes, societal impact, or trends affecting everyday life, the emphasis lies in human-interest stories that resonate with the masses. Not only that, but many outlets thrive on emotionally engaging content. Stories that tug at heartstrings, provoke curiosity or inspire action stand a higher chance of gaining traction.

A local newspaper might highlight community initiatives or personal achievements, while national publications often seek content that strikes a chord with a broader audience on bigger issues – often related to politics in some way. Does your business or industry stand to benefit from a new policy announced in the Autumn budget? Has a global issue caused significant challenges for parts of your industry? Then let’s add to the conversation with a strong, fresh opinion.

But it doesn’t stop there. The spider web becomes more expansive. Are we pitching to radio? If so, then we need a good spokesperson, a good talker who can take us deeper into the story, which may involve latching onto a bigger story in the public domain – ideally from the region we’re pitching to.

At Nielsen McAllister, we recently helped one of our clients with a broadcast campaign. We spent a lot of time dedicated to the narrative craft, knowing that what we sent to trade press would not work on the other side of the fence. We tied it into an issue attracting national attention and hooked it all on a nice date hook – date hooks are great!

We also worked with the client to brief our spokesperson for the sort of questions to expect and how to navigate them and stay on message – because when you’re in the lap of live radio, anything can be asked. Finally, we had target areas based on where the client had the biggest presence throughout the country. In the end, it was a roaring success, and we achieved over 1,000,000 reach in listenership!

Are we trying to get television coverage? If that is the goal, then one of the things we’ll need are visual assets to tell our story through: lots of supplemental footage (known as B-roll), access to a factory or laboratory, do we have a stunt where we can get a TV crew over to for a big unveiling of some kind? The creative of any B2C campaign or story is crucial because it must engage the audience for minutes at a time. Customisable content is key.

But with that, one important lesson for us all is: be prepared for the creative to fail. Mainstream media is a lot more about risks, particularly when trying to get cut through on a national level. And risks are inherently, well, risky. It might go wrong. But as PR professionals we try to put as many safety nets as possible in place, you have to be agile, be prepared to pivot, be prepared to retool some things on the fly and try again. Perhaps only elements of the creative or story don’t work. If so, how do you change those?

All of that time and planning is all well and good, but one of the most important things in local and national media is being reactive, which is often something B2B can struggle with. If a news story breaks, and you have a client able to be positioned as an expert on the subject, moving at speed is paramount. In local and national news, journalists and producers are under pressure to cover the story as quickly as possible with as many insights as possible. They aren’t sitting around waiting for you, you have to be on your toes and go to them!

In the intricate tapestry of mainstream media coverage, a tailored approach is required. Understanding the nuances and differences between news for trade media and news for local and national titles is crucial for businesses aiming to secure coverage across diverse media platforms and effectively reach their target audiences.

To learn more about how we can help you get your business in mainstream media, contact our team for a chat.

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