3 Things to do BEFORE You Start Your Media Outreach

Do you believe that you have to be big before you start to reach out to media?

Are you waiting to reach that magic number of email subscribers or to publish that book you’re writing?

Maybe you believe if you just continue developing great content, in time, media will eventually come to you.

The truth is these thoughts are holding you back from reaching hundreds, thousands, or millions of potential customers with your message.

You don’t need a big platform to go after media, and you’re letting opportunities slip by while you wait for media to come to you.

PR Isn't Just For Celebs


Whether it’s growing your email list, breaking into the speakers’ circuit, getting the attention of publishers or increasing revenue, media coverage can help you make it big. PR helps you by:

  • Reaching a mass audience with your message.
  • Increasing your visibility and chances of being “discovered.”
  • Lending credibility and an instant reputation boost. People will trust you.

And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

So what do you need before you reach out to the media?

1.  A brand that wows. You don’t have to have reached millions of people or sold thousands of products, although that can’t hurt. What you need is a brand that people are attracted to and find value in. You are in business because you’ve found that your customer is looking for something that only you can provide. Asking how you are different than any other business will help you identify your wow.

2.  Professional-grade photography. 
First, photos can be used as a lure, much like a story hook. If an editor or reporter see the photos and visualize them in their magazine, blog or newspaper, they’ll want to learn more. Also, media have limited resources and very few, if any, photographers on staff. Providing photos to an outlet for their use will put you ahead of the pack.

Examples of photos you’ll want for stories include your products, your headshot for profile or expert articles, your studio for work space stories and so on. Make sure to get a variety of both horizontal and vertical photos. Vertically aligned photos can be used for magazine covers, and both will be an asset for most magazine, blog and newspaper layouts.

3.  A game plan for capturing customers. PR is not about ego. Getting coverage is not for the sake of seeing yourself in the paper. Media outreach is in support of your end goal. For that reason, it’s important that you already have a system in place to capitalize on the new attention your media placement brings your business.

A great example would be a campaign revolving around increasing your email list before a product launch. In this case, you would have to have an email optin on your website.

Bonus! Writing samples and/or videos. This is a bonus tip, because writing samples and videos aren’t a must. However, it’s usually helpful to have some sort of example of your work on hand. Don’t write something new just for this! The video doesn’t need to be polished.

A writing sample can be content you’ve written for your blog or videos of you taken with your iPhone. These are easy to share with media and give them an idea of how great an author you are or how fantastic you’ll look on camera.

PR is for the big and famous, sure. But it’s also for you, an opportunity to reach more people and your goals.

A single interview on NBC’s Today show would mean reaching nearly 5 million people. With a clear strategy and consistent messaging, a number of these opportunities will launch you from unknown to known and trusted by the masses almost instantly. The buck doesn’t stop there. You’ll capture new leads and leverage these one-time bursts of credibility with your current customers, building your brand (and potential for revenue) further.

Don’t wait to start your media outreach campaign and lose out on the opportunities you have today. Once you have photos on hand, a resonating brand and a plan for collecting leads, you’re ready to roll.