Experts reveal five ways your business can catch the media's eye

Margaret Paton

What exactly does the media look for, and what makes it likely to run one story over another? Knowing will help your business get the right attention, so here are some tips for how to build an enticing media profile for your company.

Pitch your story

Communications Consultant at Headline Publicity and Deep Hill Media Ellen Hill says offering “genuinely newsworthy content” is a must.

“Many people don’t realise how fascinating they or their business are,” she says.  

Brisbane-based personal branding expert Sue Currie advises against writing about your business like you’re writing an advertisement – like you’re “selling something”.

“Determine the emotional connection between the product or service and how that helps the readers. Tell a story about you [and how you help] that links to what you’re offering.”

Be consistent

Your business, your story and you are brand elements, so be consistent in your language and your style.

Consider developing story ideas into regular columns or audio files of you reading them to syndicate to several media organisations. Link the coverage to your website and Facebook page.

Regularly contributing to local radio broadcasts is a good way to “position yourself as an expert in your field” says Blue Mountains-based Fiona Donnelly, a copywriter and book publicist who runs Telopea Services.

You might be able to come to an agreement if it’s important for you to get in front of that audience.

Two-way street

Particularly for local and regional papers that need advertising to survive, be prepared to offer some advertising support and suggest editorial coverage in return, says Currie.

“You might be able to come to an agreement if it’s important for you to get in front of that audience.”

Get in the picture

Hill urges businesses to “always supply a high-res, quality image” with a media release.

She works with her husband, David, in running workshops in Sydney on becoming media savvy in terms of word and pictures. Need a portrait shot to go with your release? The Hills advise crossing your arms and nudging one shoulder and your face toward the camera to give you squarer shoulders.

Keep ‘em keen

Become journalists’ go-to person about your industry. Hill encourages business owners to “be involved, outspoken and an industry/community leader, and to tell the media about it”.

Donnelly suggests joining networking organisations and the local business chamber.

“I’m an active member of Women with Altitude and, when I’ve attended their events, have often then had my photo and business name in the local papers, including when I won an award.”

And keep in touch with your favourite media contacts.

“You won’t get coverage every time, but they might just need something to write about that day,” says Currie.

Margaret Paton

Former Sunday Age staff journalist, Margaret Paton (formerly Jakovac) has written widely for corporations/government departments and more than 100 online/hard copy mastheads in regional NSW, Sydney, Melbourne and Europe.

Image: US Army Africa, Flickr Creative Commons license

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