On the surface, the process of getting press coverage sounds simple. But, because journalists are constantly pitched about new products, standing out from the crowd can be difficult.
Whether you’re an established business, or you’re just getting started, it’s never too soon to let people know about your product. Choosing the best outlet to promote your business is only half the battle.
We’re going to look at some of the most clever ways you can get any influencer’s or journalist’s attention—even in a crowded space—so you can get more traffic and sales for your business.
This article discusses the various types of media outreach and their benefits. It also provides tips on how to get media coverage for your story.
What is media coverage?
Media coverage refers to the way the media covers and reports on events. It can be positive, negative, or neutral.
Media coverage is important because it can help to shape public opinion. It can also help to raise awareness of issues and events. There are a number of ways to get media coverage, including pitching stories to reporters, sending out press releases, and using social media.
Benefits of getting media coverage
Boosts credibility for your brand
Earning media gives you third-party credibility that can help boost your brand’s reputation. Media outlets are considered more credible and trustworthy information sources than businesses.
Media outlets covering your brand can help increase consumer confidence and trust in your products or services.
Increased brand awareness
Getting media coverage can also help increase brand awareness for your business. This is because when your brand is featured in the media, it is being exposed to a larger and potentially new audience. This can help you reach new potential customers and grow your business.
Generates leads and sales
Positive media coverage can also generate leads and sales for your business. This is because when people see your brand in the media, they may be more likely to visit your website or contact you to learn more about your products or services. This can lead to increased sales and revenue for your business.
Types of media coverage
Media coverage is classified as earned, owned, or paid media.
Earned media is any type of media exposure that you gain organically. This would include positive reviews, social media posts, or articles written about you in a magazine or website.
For earned media to be successful, you first need to have built a solid reputation. This is why many new companies or products use paid media to generate initial attention.
Owned media is any content that you produce and control yourself. This would include your website, blog, or social media accounts. Owned media is a great way to build an audience you can direct to your earned media.
Paid media is any type of media exposure that you pay for. This would include advertising, sponsorships, or product placement. Paid media is a great way to generate initial attention for new companies or products.
Common media channels
While many media buyers tend to avoid TV advertising because of its high costs, it can be a very effective way to boost brand awareness and even create a buzz around a product launch.
TV is a popular form of mass media. It involves buying airtime on television channels to show adverts in the form of commercials. It can also include purchasing ad space on streaming players like Roku. TV advertising is the most expensive form of advertising, but it also reaches the largest audience.
Radio advertising is popular because it’s relatively cheap and easy to produce. A radio advert can be made quickly and easily and produced in-house with little experience.
Like TV, radio advertising reaches a large audience, but it’s not as expensive as TV advertising. Radio adverts are usually played between programs and are typically 30 seconds long.
Print media includes newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets. Print media is a popular form of advertising, particularly for products and services with a long shelf life, such as cars and holidays.
Print media is less popular than it used to be because of the rise of the internet and social media. However, print media is still a significant form of advertising, particularly in niche markets.
Online media includes websites, blogs, and social media channels. Online media is a popular form of advertising because it’s relatively cheap and easy to produce. It’s also easy to target specific demographics with online media coverage.
The disadvantages of online advertising are that it can be easy to switch off, and it’s easy to fast-forward through adverts.
How to get media coverage
1. Pick your topic
The first thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to media coverage is what kind of story is it? Media coverage is generally newsworthy, meaning it’s something people would be interested in. Some stories are more newsworthy than others. You need to make sure your story is newsworthy and appropriate for the outlet you are pitching to, if you’re pitching it to.
Make sure your story is timely and relevant if you want to make it newsworthy. If you’re pitching a story about a new product, make sure you explain why it’s new and how it’s relevant to the outlet’s audience. You should also focus on stories that are unique and have a human interest angle. These stories tend to be more newsworthy than ones that are just informative.
2. Find media outlets to pitch
The second step is to find media outlets to pitch your story to. This includes newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and TV and radio stations.
When finding media outlets to pitch to, make sure you:
- Find outlets that cover stories like yours
- Check the outlet’s submission guidelines
- Personalize your pitch
When it comes to making sure your story is appropriate for the outlet you are pitching, it is important to consider the audience of the outlet. For example, if you are pitching a story to a business news outlet, make sure to focus on the business angle of your story.
However, if you are pitching a story to a general news outlet, you can focus on a variety of different angles. Additionally, it is important to consider the tone of the outlet you are pitching.
Some outlets are more serious in nature, while others are more lighthearted. Make sure to pitch your story to an outlet that is a good fit for the tone of your story.
3. Write your press release
A press release is a short, newsworthy article that gives journalists all the information they need to write a story about your brand or product.
You can write a press release to:
- attract attention to your brand or product
- announce a new product or service
- announce a new partnership or collaboration
- announce a new website or blog
When writing a press release:
- Keep it short and to the point. Journalists are busy people and will appreciate a concise press release that gets straight to the point.
- Include all the relevant information. Make sure your press release includes all the key information that journalists will need to write a story.
- Use a catchy headline. A headline that catches the attention of journalists and readers is essential to a successful press release.
4. Pitch your story
You’ve written a great story and you’re ready to pitch it to editors. But how do you write a pitch letter that will get their attention?
Your pitch letter should be concise and to the point. Start by introducing yourself and your story. Then, explain why you think your story would be a good fit for the publication you’re pitching to. Be sure to mention any relevant credentials or experience you have.
Finally, include a brief sample of your writing so the editor can get a sense of your style. End your letter with a polite thank you and your contact information.
5. Follow up
Once you’ve sent your pitch, be patient. It can take weeks or even months for an editor to respond. If you haven’t heard back after a reasonable amount of time, you can follow up with a brief email. But don’t be too pushy—you don’t want to come across as desperate.
If, despite your best efforts, you still don’t hear back from an editor, don’t despair. There are many reasons why a pitch might be rejected, and it’s not personal. Just keep trying, and eventually you’ll find the right fit for your story.
After you’ve pitched your story to the media, you need to be prepared to handle media requests. This means being available to answer questions, provide additional information, and do interviews. You should also be prepared to follow up after an interview, thank the interviewer, and send any additional information they may need.
15 tips for getting media coverage
Getting media coverage can be challenging. That’s why we’ve asked experts in the field on how you can secure more coverage for your brand. Here are there best tips.
1. Use a media coverage service like Qwoted to connect with journalists
Use the Qwoted platform for media coverage opportunities. Every day, journalists post requests for comments and quotes from experts and founders in different industries and lots of them are product focused, which is perfect for ecommerce.
Brands can expect to find everything from gift guide placement opportunities to expert commentary requests on retail-friendly industries such as fashion, health/supplements, home goods, and many more—including product recommendations to be published in best-of posts on high authority media sites.
—Ryan Turner, Ecommerce Intelligence
2. Write for the outlet’s audience, not your product
Make sure your pitch or response to journalists is focused on their audience’s interests and needs and not on your product or service.
While, of course, your goal is to get exposure for your product or service you have to “back in” to this. Your product/service/company should be secondary—your advice, insights, and expertise delivered in a way to be helpful to the journalist’s readers, viewers, or listeners is what will get you coverage and attention.
—Linda Pophal, Strategic Communications
3. Pitch local media
We’ve gotten covered in multiple local outlets, as they love writing about the local community and happenings, which will lead to other local outlets covering you.
Local journalists have covered us in Denver7, Denver Post, and 5280, resulting in thousands of dollars’ worth of sales as a result. Those initial crops of customers helped get our business off the ground.
—Matt Addison, Rugged Black
4. “News-jack” the recent stories
Even though it sometimes carries some risk, it can genuinely assist you in creating more buzz and getting your company into the press.
To do it correctly, I will suggest determining whether you can provide a fresh and unique viewpoint on any news story relevant to your business before responding to it. Then, get in touch with appropriate journalists. As a result, your company will receive media attention, and you will have the opportunity to appear in related articles.
—Simon Brisk, Click Intelligence
5. Reach out to popular bloggers
Blogs are a powerful tool that can provide backlinks to your shop and send a blogger’s community directly to the product you’re trying to sell. It’s important to focus on bloggers who have content that ranks well on Google, because this will likely result in more clicks to your shop and make your ecommerce shop more credible.
—Emily Waddell, founder of Give a Damn Goods
6. Promote a social cause
Adopt a social cause that is related to your product and does social good. Everyone loves a good story, and if you can bake this into your social giving or mission, then you should be in a good place.
Reach out to news outlets on their tip line, and also do a press release yourself with Cision or some reputable PR outlet. You can attach a video with your product and amplify your message to the desk of thousands of news outlets.
—Kevin Tash, Tack Media
7. Hire PR professionals
There is a reason why the public relations sector is so large. PR requires considerable time and effort. You can either devote the necessary time to obtaining favorable press coverage, or you can engage a public relations firm to do the legwork for you.
The pros at a PR agency already have working contacts with the media, which is an advantage. You can also hire a marketing agency, such as SEO Design Chicago, to help you obtain press coverage. (There is a distinction between public relations and marketing.)
—Ligia Lugo, The Daring Kitchen
8. Create influencer partnerships
Get your brand out there by partnering with as many influencers and other brands as possible. Creating these partnerships can increase your exposure tenfold and propel you to a position where you’re worth media coverage.
Throwing your brand into circulation by being interactive on social media can generate an exponentially increasing awareness and visibility that can establish your brand as being the one to know.
—Eric Elggren, Andar
9. Use an affiliate program
Engage in an affiliate platform for your brand, as a majority of media is shifting toward having this as a requirement to feature products. Not only can this help produce organic coverage, but it will also help your PR team to successfully place your products in top tier publications.
—Brooke Qilafi, Qilafi Public Relations
10. Consistently pitch journalists queries
Research relevant journalists to your industry. One of the best ways to get media coverage for your brand is to be proactive. Don’t wait for media contacts to come to you. Reach out to them. The trick is to choose people who are the right fit.
If you’re a food and beverage company, reach out to a journalist who covers that topic. A finance-heavy publication is probably not going to be suitable. You want it to be the perfect match.
—Melanie Edwards, Olipop
11. Create a press kit
A press kit is a must-have for any ecommerce brand that wants to get more media coverage. A press kit should include a brief overview of your company, biographies of your key team members, high-resolution images of your products, and a list of recent press coverage.
Make sure to tailor your press kit to the specific reporters or bloggers that you are targeting, and make it easy for them to find the information they need.
—Smith Burton, WREI
12. Research Google Trends data when pitching stories
This works well because you’re not having to invest heavily in a PR campaign upfront, and you’re readily giving journalists a story and the data to back it up, all in one place.
For example, with the cost of living crisis in the UK, we could look at something like the search trend for “how to keep your house warm without turning on the heating.” If we saw a spike in Google Trends, we could package this data with expert commentary and provide tips on how homeowners can keep their house warm without increasing their heating costs.
We’d provide journalists with headlines such as “Searches for ‘xyx’ skyrocket by 200% amidst further rises in energy bills for UK residents.” You then also have the free Google Trends data to prove your statement, and then you can even further provide an expert commentary or insider tips which relate to the data.
—Ashley Woodyatt, Woodyatt Curtains
13. Send samples to influencers
A great way to get media coverage is to send samples of your products to influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. These influencers may put your product in their video.
Influencers are a great way for a small business to get its product in front of customers. When I used to dropship with Shopify, I targeted micro-influencers on Instagram with under 5,000 followers. I would send them a sample of my product and a small fee. I would end up with several sales, so it was worth my time and money.
—Becky Beach, Mom Beach
14. Apply for award roundups
Brands should consider applying to award roundups to gain media exposure. Hundreds of outlets host yearly award programs where brands can pitch their product to editors.
Companies send in products and write a short description on why this product should win. If chosen, the brand will not only become recognized by a major media outlet, but they’ll also stand out within the industry as a competitor.
—Christy Pyrz, Paradigm Peptides
15. Become friends with reporters and journalists
The most effective and advisable tip to get media coverage for your ecommerce brand is to befriend a reporter or editor. Be kind and gain the trust of the reporters to acquire connections in the media industry. It benefits your brand when you need the public’s attention, and creates a name in the ecommerce industry.
Some business owners have been using this technique to build a brand effectively. You just have to maintain that relationship to sustain a good reputation and avoid negative remarks from the media coverage. Reporters’ words are critical. It can either positively or adversely affect your brand. Consequently, establish a good relationship for the sake of your ecommerce brand.
—Jean Will, NiaWigs
Get press coverage for your brand today
Getting media coverage is important for any business, but especially for small businesses. Small businesses often don’t have the marketing budgets of larger businesses, so getting free publicity can be a huge boost.
Ready to create your business? Start your free 3-day trial of Shopify—no credit card required.
Media coverage FAQ
What are the four types of media coverage?
- Traditional media coverage includes items such as news stories, features, and press releases in print, broadcast, and online media outlets.
- Social media coverage refers to the sharing of your content on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- User-generated media coverage includes online reviews, blog posts, and other content created by individuals who are not affiliated with your organization.
- Paid media coverage is content that is created or distributed in exchange for payment, such as advertising, sponsorships, or product placement.