Editorial mention of events give you more credibility than paid advertising. Here are insider tips on how to build a PR story the media will publish.

Marketing through traditional media, social media, online newspapers and via bloggers is expensive. Paid advertising has its mission, but usually has lower credibility than when you and your event are discussed editorially. With editorial mentions you get a greater chance of people checking out what you are doing and eventually find their way to the ticket system and buy the ticket.

Editorial mentions costs virtually nothing, but it is a little time and wisdom to be mentioned. Here is a template for how to proceed

The five rules of a good press story

In classical press theory, the five news criteria are fundamental. Think of these when designing your press material.

  • Conflict: The media and readers love when there is little controversy and a conflict in what is being presented. If you have a key statement (which you can vouch for) then use this actively. A key statement can make it easier for the case to live longer, through which people can engage and it becomes easier to add a new angle to your key statement.

 

  • Essential: Make sure the message is interesting to your audience as well as the current media readers and users. Why should local newspapers write about this? Why should CNN cover your event? What difference do you make for people, business and cultural life in your local area?

 

  • Identification: This point has some connection with the materiality. If media readers / users can identify with your message, the message looks to be stronger than if you are out of step with everything and everyone.

 

  • Sensation: A sensational message will often give much attention. For those of you who work with music, the publication of a great artist for a festival or venue can be used as a sensational news. A high ranking on ie. Lists, or foreign news can also have a sensational effect. Good sales and sold out shows are also good selling points. Think about how to get a surprise element into the message.

 

  • Timelines: Media and people are preoccupied with what is happening right now – or are about to happen. A new release of an artist, a new album or single, a new speaker for the conference etc. These may be examples of this. Moreover, what you do must have a relevance in people’s lives. Is the profile of a festival or competition in line with developments in culture or society right now?

 

Almost complete their work for them

Give journalists enough of the right information to ease their workload. Maybe even a complete text they can change the lead or title on.

Make a press release where you try to design a well-crafted article as far as possible – include quotes (if there is any), and attach a small bundle of images and possibly audio files (in low resolution). In addition, it may be beneficial to include links to more images with high resolution, videos, audio clips etc. in higher resolution video transfer, if you have it or link to video on YouTube, Vimeo or the like. Keep in mind that journalists and writers often have poor time and therefore prefer a comfortable solution. The more you have worked through and collected your material, the better it is for them.

When preparing your material, think of it as a reverse pyramid – submit the most important message first, and then the content becomes more and more extensive towards the end. Thus, the recipient of the press release can get a clear overview and then work through the material.

Don’t pitch every media outlet at the same time

Don’t fall for the temptation to send to many at the same time. All media wants exclusivity. Go to the media you think is most important to reach as many people as possible in your audience. This allows you to offer the recipient an exclusivity in the email you send. If they do not bite, go to the next one on your list. If you get a mention in a media, you can send to the next one on the list, preferably with an adaptation of the press release, so the angle is sufficiently different from the first mention.

Specific recipients first, then general

Find the email address of the press service on the web pages of the current media. If you already have a good connection with the media, just send it to the person. The advantage of sending to press@somemedia.co.uk is that this case does not depend on individuals, but can be found again by the person who is the duty manager at any time when you need to contacted.

Follow up on your own email

Follow up on any agreement with the writer or contact during eg. half a day. Ask if it has been received and read. Ask if there is interest in doing anything more about your inquiry and possibly if there are any shortcomings. Try to offer yourself and be at the forefront of every possible feedback. Invite to the location (scene, rehearsal room, home) to take their own pictures. Do not give up if nothing happens as soon as you contact. Just try again in a few days. It may well be that the interest have changed. It can also happen that another writer has got your eyes on your case.

TL;DR

  1. Five news criteria

    • Conflict: Disagreements creates interest.
    • Essential: Is it a subject on the top of anyones list
    • Identification: Can your segment relate?
    • Sensation: Is it surprising?
    • Timeline: Is it happening now, or about to happen.
  2. Give almost finished work to journalist.

  3. Don’t pitch everyone at once.

  4. Send to specific recipient, then general.

  5. Test press story on private audience before sending. 

Test press release on an audience 

Sharing the press release and your plan with employees or other acquaintances can be a huge advantage. Ask if they think it works. Ask them to be honest, so you can be as prepared as possible before contacting the media. If you want us at Tikkio to look at your material and advise, it is completely free. If so, just contact us through the livechat in Event Manager and we will get back to you.

Kjetil Aarseth

Kjetil Aarseth

CEO in Tikkio International | Co-owner - I have a background from communication, sales, product and business development. Solution-oriented and impatient by nature. My favorite tool is the video conference solution AppearIn. My greatest musical heroes are Leonard Cohen, Kurt Cobain and Kari Bremnes.
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