FREE Press? (How to get major columnists, journalists and reporters to talk about you in their articles…for free!)
There’s no doubt that at some point in your career you’ve had a new product to sell, a new service you’re offering or some other piece of news that you knew would make a great story in a magazine or newspaper which could provide some great free marketing for you. The next thing that probably crossed your mind- how could you make that happen?
For most people, the problem is that they stop right there, at the “wondering” stage and just have no idea how to go from having a great story to tell to getting written up in a local or national publication. Well, not anymore! We’re going to take care of that problem right now by showing you how to get noticed by writers so you can open the door to free press.
Let’s look at this issue with an example that you are probably more familiar with first, then, we’ll tie it back into the subject at hand: getting free press. If you want to do business with someone, you usually have to connect with them several times and create a relationship of some kind, right? There aren’t many people left in this world who hear a message for the first time and bite right into it. There’s simply too much clutter flying around to take notice of everything, so most of us have to be reminded of the same message 7-9 times before we take notice of it. These writers are no different: so, what you have to do is try to find a way to start a conversation with them and build a relationship. It’s no different than you would do with any prospect in your business. So, let’s look at how you can introduce yourself and start a conversation.
Most publications publish the email address of the writers at the bottom of each column and oftentimes they even solicit a response. You will usually see a tagline that reads something like:
Questions or comments about this article? We’d love to hear from you! To let Jon know what you think of his article, email him at jon@JonDoeNews.com
How many people do you think actually take the time to email these authors? Right, not many. We even know some authors who wonder if anyone ever reads their columns! They’re dying to have somebody give them some feedback or correspond with them. They often just want someone to take notice of them, so this is where you can score some major points. Just take a few minutes to send the writer an email letting them know what you thought of their article. Just look at it as if they just started a conversation with you, laying out their entire point of view, and now they have paused and are waiting for you to give them an answer. It’s that simple. Even a short email that simply says, “hey, great article! I can’t wait to read some more of your work!” is a great start.
Most authors of major publications also have blogs in addition to their columns where they write on a more regular basis. And most of these blogs allow readers to post comments on the blog. So, run a Google® search for the author’s name or look in the publication to see if you can find a web address for their blog. If you find one, go to the blog address on your computer and bookmark it or subscribe to it by email or RSS (Really Simple Syndication – explaining this technology is beyond the scope of this article, but it’s a great technology that streams news and articles directly to you without you having to ever go back to the source to get it. Check it out, it’s great!). Be sure to check at least every few days to see what they are blogging about. Whenever you have something to say about their blog, you can post a comment. It’s the same concept as emailing them after you have read one of their columns, but, you don’t have to wait for the next publication to be printed, you can keep up-to-date and keep “the conversation” going whenever you like.
Once you have started some ongoing dialogue with a writer, and have started to build a relationship, don’t you think they might pay attention to you when you have a story for them? They sure will! Good luck and let us know about your success from using this strategy.