Why media connections matter less than you think

March 28, 2023

One question we hear a lot is: “Who do you know in my industry?”

It’s an important question, because what people are really asking is, “Can you actually get my/our message past the noise and into media outlets which are trusted by our target audiences?”

And the answer is, yes. We absolutely can get your message into media that matters despite not specializing in your industry. That’s because journalists care less about who knows them and more about having a great topic at the right time from the right spokesperson.

But don’t take our word for it. Imagine you are Mark Cuban, Serena Williams, or Tim Cook. There would be no reason to ask your PR team who they know in a specific industry because any media outlet would cover whatever relevant narrative and content you wanted to share. A single Tweet would drive an entire news cycle.

That’s because Cuban, Williams, and Cook aren’t just part of the news. They are the news. All journalists want great stories their audiences will love, and nothing is more loved than important people saying things that matter.

Your challenge, and our job, is to make you the most important person to the media outlets that matter most to your target audiences.

Let’s talk about how the Three Ts get you great press

Getting great media coverage requires being in the right place at the right time with the right message – the Three Ts:

  • Topic – having something relevant that is also unique, important, and/or counter-intuitive.
  • Timing – don’t talk about taxes around Thanksgiving, and do talk about education in May and September.
  • Title – who’s your best spokesperson for the specific message? Tim Cook is Apple’s CEO, but sometimes the Chief Information Officer should handle tech announcements.

Again, journalists across all industries want great stories to put in front of their target audiences. You don’t have to be a celebrity to get the coverage you want – you need the topic, timing, and title to temporarily be as important as them to your target outlets; and the right strategy to insert your narrative into the news cycle.

Creating & hijacking the news

There are two broad ways to get through the media noise:

  • Create the news. Be the Mark Cuban of your world by creating a new drug company.
  • Hijack the news. Throw your unique, added-value, or counterintuitive message into the existing media mix.

Here are some clients we’ve helped get into the press with both approaches.

Creating the news

  • A Fox Business reporter was eager to cover our client’s report about what moves companies’ stock prices.
  • We helped a publicist get her client’s report on navigating increased antitrust enforcement coverage in an industry trade outlet.
  • A policy group’s report on U.S. consumer spending compared to other OECD countries generated coverage at top political outlets and led to tens of thousands of website visits.
  • Securing media exposure for a health care client’s new partnership led to huge increases in social media coverage and media placement the client used during an investor presentation.

Hijacking the news

  • An AI client has an important practice which goes against some of the industry’s normal practices. When a related issue began to rise to the surface, a simple blog post and an even simpler statement led to three pieces of coverage.
  • Two phone calls and a press release helped a political client’s message go viral when he threw his unique experience into the middle of a burgeoning press cycle.
  • We used the divisive first Trump/Biden debate in 2020 to place a client’s op-ed about reducing political division.

Connections really don’t matter?

We didn’t say that. The political client’s message went viral in part because we called journalists we know. Likewise for the reporter at Fox Business and the industry reporter who covered the antitrust enforcement report.

But the connections didn’t matter as much as the content because we’ve been told no by those reporters or even simply been ignored when the topic wasn’t relevant.

Remember, any celebrity or industry leader is the topic, timing, and title. They are the story. We’ll help you create the same powerful narrative with the media outlets your target audiences trust.

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