Increasing Your Media Exposure
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
Good media exposure can help you attract new customers, promote products, boost your credibility, and build your retailer’s reputation as a destination for wellness solutions. Obtaining consistent and meaningful coverage, however, takes some effort and careful planning. Here are some steps that can help you increase your media presence:
- Develop relationships with the right journalists: Identify the reporters that cover health and food stories and take the time to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or in person. Become familiar with their content so you know what’s important to them and how you may be useful. Make it easy, interesting and beneficial to engage with you so natural opportunities for free press come your way.
- Understand what’s important to the media outlet: If a local TV station is running a series on summer travel, pitch a story that complements the topic such as “healthy road trip snacks”. Do they have a weekly food feature? Offer to do a monthly “$10 Tuesday” segment with a family dinner recipe under $10.
- Be a source for publications: One of the most cost-effective ways of getting media coverage is by making yourself a reliable professional in your area of expertise. One way to do this is through Help a Reporter Out (HARO). You can sign up as a source for key topics on this platform and you’ll receive emails with opportunities that match your knowledge. If a journalist likes what you have to share, they can connect with you and/or link to your website.
- Just ask: Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to reporters to pitch a story via email, but make sure your note is concise and includes a captivating and pertinent subject line. Include your contact information as well. One platform that can help is JustReachOut.io which assists with identifying the most relevant journalists, publications, press opportunities and podcasts to pitch your stories to.
- Respond to journalist requests quickly: If a journalist does contact you about a story, respond to them immediately. Ask for their deadline and see if you can get topic information and questions ahead of time to prepare for an interview. Waiting to respond can result in them featuring your competition.
- Make life easier for the reporter: If you have the reputation of always being on time and being fully prepared to deliver timely information, you will make it easier for a journalist to be receptive each time you approach them with a potential segment.
- Become a master of monitoring: Looking for ideas to pitch? Use Google Alerts to monitor news topics related to food, nutrition, your community and the retail industry. Google will notify you whenever new content is published online containing keywords that you choose. It’s also a great tool for monitoring yourself, your business, and your competition so you can stay on top of what’s being said and react as needed.