Placements in major media publications and digital editions are an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach huge audiences, establish brand credibility and amplify the returns on their promotions.

However, they’re sometimes hard to come by if you’re not prepared to invest thousands in a paid placement!

In this guide, Brand News shares some tips and tricks to prepare genuinely newsworthy content that is relevant and informative and explains some of the hurdles to snagging a spot in a high readership channel.

Selecting a Target Press Release Publication

The first thing to consider is what you want to say and to whom. There is a world of difference between a sales pitch and a press release or piece of content that provides meaningful insights or encourages engagement.

Paid ads and press features are different things, so it’s important to conduct research rather than circulating a cookie-cutting press release that won’t gain attention.

Further, if you try to contact publications or reporters about a topic that isn’t relevant – for example, it’s about a service or event in a different location – you could lessen your future chances of a feature.

Here are some of the factors to think about:

    • Publications: what topics do they specialise in, and what areas do they cover? Is it a global digital news site, a local paper or a business edition focusing on a particular industry?
    • Audience: who do you want to read your feature? Where do they live, how old are they, and what problems do they have that you are going to solve? If you’re looking to engage with young students, a trade publication probably won’t help, but an educational magazine or popular influencer might.
    • Story: what information are you going to cover, and why does it matter? Your press release needs to include details of the story, who it is for, why it is relevant and what it means.

General sales content is not relevant to most news outlets, so you can think a little more laterally about brand awareness.

Examples might include content around industry statistics, company research you have conducted, interesting case studies or exciting innovations – things that are enjoyable to read about without being an advertisement.

How to Get Featured in Major Press Outlets

While there are no guarantees, and it can take several months to secure a mention, you can improve the likelihood that a journalist will decide to feature your company or run a piece of content you have produced.

    • Provide unique insights or statistics. Reporters will often scout around for information that backs up an article they are writing – the more specific and verifiable the data, the better.
    • Circulate your press release directly to journalists or decision makers; sending content to a generic inbox will usually mean it ends up straight in the junk folder.
    • Craft an unusual or interesting title – even if a media outlet uses one snippet of information, they’ll be more likely to read your content or feature if the headline is eye-catching.
    • Send press releases in a compact file format. Large attachments and bulky PDFs don’t do well in email communications since most operating systems assume the attachment is spam.
    • Include contact information, and be quick to respond to requests for further details about your published content and the story behind it.

It also helps to pay attention to the digital content you already have available. For example, if you send a great press release to a news site and they’re thinking about running it, they’ll normally have a look at the company behind it.

If there is no website or social media feed to refer to, nothing on your site to substantiate what you’re saying, or no history to show that the organisation is credible, it gives a poor first impression.

The Challenges of Securing a Media Feature

Digital news outlets overcome the space limitation of most print publications – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any easier to get your brand mentioned or featured through a site with a large readership.

Part of the issue is simply competition – countless companies strive to boost their SEO and brand awareness through media placements, and there are only so many features one site can publish.

Another is that paid advertising is often a primary revenue source for influential magazines and newsletters. If other businesses are paying for promotional space, the website is less likely to pick up other news pieces, even if they are relevant to their readership.

If you’re targeting print media, such as magazines and newspapers, you might find that editors collate content weeks or months ahead of each edition and charge tens of thousands if you’d like a feature on the main page.

However, with some expert advice, it is possible to broaden your reach and get your content in front of new audiences without breaking your budget!

Benefits of Working With an Expert Digital PR Team

Here at Brand News, we appreciate that mainstream features and articles can be incredibly advantageous for companies of all sizes – but that businesses trying to scale rarely have the time, skills or resources to do so.

Our professional digital PR team has a network of excellent press contacts and relationships with a wide range of publications and outlets, leveraging huge cost-efficiencies for clients who need to boost their brand visibility.

The benefits are significant:

    • Features and press release publications are guaranteed, without any doubt about whether your content or article will make it onto the page.
    • We offer set timeframes, ensuring that features and brand mentions coincide with launches or events and are not outdated by the time the content reaches your target readers.
    • Clients have access to respected news sites and platforms, which would otherwise be unattainable. Think Forbes, Bloomberg, HuffPost, CNBC and Business Insider!
    • PR packages offer fixed pricing without commanding exorbitant advertising costs to get your press content out there. Core digital PR packages start from as little as £150 a month, including publication in over 50 outlets and news partners.

Another compelling reason to consider a professional digital PR team is the expertise on offer. Crafting a press release and communicating your message is an art – we help with everything from picking a topic to optimising your content for SEO, so you can relax and watch the visitor traffic roll in.