Selling yourself to the media

27 March 2020 | 3 min read | News
Clearly Team

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Journalists usually have a little black book of trusted specialists that they return to time and time again for commentary. This isn’t because of favouritism, it’s because they are all incredibly time-poor and can’t waste hours culling irrelevant pitches.

This can be extremely frustrating for those who actually have something innovative to say but are perhaps new or unknown to the industry. But as times change, events occur and markets diversify, journalists will require new perspectives. Here are three ways to stand out from the crowd.

Say something new, but relevant to your business

Think about what you can add to the debate. If a journalist wants something new, make sure what you say isn’t stale or recycled. Drawing upon your relevant USPs is a great place to start; what do you do that no-one else does, how do you articulate that and how can you make sure that it is relevant to today’s news agenda?

Above all, don’t say something new if it isn’t true – spinning a yarn just to be seen is a sure-fire to push away clients, prospects and journalists.

Keep talking

Continuously communicating across multiple channels is essential. Don’t just aim for one publication and leave it there. Share blogs, use your social channels, engage with current and desired media contacts on Twitter or LinkedIn and join in with conversations both in your industry and beyond.

The more time you make to create good content and meaningful relationships, the more likely you are to be viewed as a reputable, reliable and responsive source of information.

Give guidance, not a pitch

Unless you’re taking part in an advertorial opportunity, journalists won’t accept a hard sell. They want your expertise and your opinion, not your company’s financial value or services.

What journalists, and a lot of their readers, want is spokespeople who are ready to help and guide them through a certain topic or pain-point without blowing smoke.

It is a challenging time for everyone, so take time to consider whether what you want to say is appropriate in the circumstances. If you can add insight on the current news agenda, then do so, but follow these rules to make sure your commentary is valuable, insightful and relevant.