The Art of Getting into Features
A lot media have forward features schedules. These detail the features they are planning to run during the course of the year. Yet few companies think to ask for them, and fewer still act on them.
This is a real shame as for a smaller company, doing its own PR, these schedules are gold-dust. They tell you the precise time when a key media target may be in the market to cover your kind of product or service.
So how do you make the most of them? Follow these 8 steps…
- Firstly, approach your key media and ask them for their feature schedules – if you look at a media target’s website you may well be able to download the schedule/feature list.
- Work well ahead of the editorial deadlines – if you get good information in promptly, you will reduce the scope for competitors to be featured.
- Assess if you have any prepared material that’s relevant (statistics, facts, product information, case studies) or would be able to prepare quotes or put forward experts for interview that might be appropriate for these features.
- Once you have identified an opportunity that you could contribute towards, contact the features editor or editor and ask who is writing the piece. It may be a staff reporter or a freelance. This is the person you need to liaise with.
- Phone or email this person with details of who you are, what your company does and what you could contribute to the article that is in preparation.
- Sometimes written material is enough. Other times the journalist might request to interview your expert.
- With these kinds of features, journalists will often be talking to your competitors so the more radical or forthright the quotes and opinions you provide, the more chance your company has of being quoted/interviewed.
- Anecdotal examples are also appreciated by journalists.
Don’t let these opportunities go to waste. Like many things on the PR front, it’s not complicated, it simply requires ACTION.
Louise Findlay-Wilson is a regular speaker and commentator on PR and social media issues. The owner of Energy PR (www.energypr.co.uk) Louise has worked in PR for over 25 years. During this time she has handled campaigns for major brands ranging from Galt, the BBC, Cap Gemini and St Paul’s Cathedral through to exciting start-ups and owner- managed businesses – helping them use PR including social media to accelerate their growth.